Tag: LeRon L. Barton
I recently read “Blood in the Fields: Ten Years in the Nuestra Familia Gang” and was taken aback by one of the main characters in the book. Mando was a young guy who grew up in a violent household, joined a gang and ended up committing a murder that would net him a sentence of 29 years to life. I became very sad and thought of one of the young men I met while visiting San Quentin State Prison in California for an educational panel, Efrain.
“Let’s Take Action,” a think tank organized by Los Angeles native Michael Morgenstern and New York transplant Joe Conte, aims to bring people together who may have a tough time talking about race but want to do something about the conditions they see. When I decided to attend this function, I had one question on my mind: Why now? Why all of a sudden are whites caring about the deaths of Black men in America at the hands of police?
On Friday night, Jan. 15, many young people gathered outside of the Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church for the start of the “Reclaim MLK” weekend, a 96-hour action dedicated to non-violent protest against police terrorism and gentrification. During rush hour, “Reclaim MLK” protesters shut down the major intersection of Geary at Webster in the Fillmore, once San Francisco’s Black heartland.
“The Talk” or “How to survive while Black” is given at one point or another to all young Black men. It is filled with different pointers and suggestions on how to handle police encounters when you are walking, driving or just breathing while being an African American. My mother gave my younger brother and me the talk several years ago when we turned 12, and 15 years later I gave it to my “little brother” M, a young man that I am mentoring.