Black Lives Do Matter

black lives matter 2The events that have happened in the past two years and now in 2015, I never thought that I would see in my lifetime: Case in point, the modern-day lynchings of Black men and Black boys in these United States – read the constitution when you get a chance. Then there is the underlying fact that as a librarian (Black) I see the clear picture that has been painted about my own people: Young Black Men, Black Boys| Black Women, Black Girls | Blackness | Worthless | Black Wombs don’t Matter. Young Black Men, Black Boys| Black Women, Black Girls | Blackness | Worthless | Black Wombs don’t Matter. Young Black Men, Black Boys| Black Women, Black Girls | Blackness | Worthless | Black Wombs don’t Matter. Young Black Men, Black Boys| Black Women, Black Girls | Blackness | Worthless | Black Wombs don’t Matter. Young Black Men, Black Boys| Black Women, Black Girls | Blackness | Worthless | Black Wombs don’t Matter.

Point blank and simple we are at war with something that many can’t comprehend. The blueprint (White Supremacy) that has been in place since African people arrived in this country still is in motion. Currently it reads like this: Incarcerate as many Black men as possible, kill them first and answer questions later, and continue to break the Black family nucleus by providing them with the educational tools to be 21st century savages. What does this have to do with librarianship and my experiences that I’ve had inside of Inman E. Page Library, Lincoln University Missouri? To be fair, let’s just say that the student body (not all, but many) at Lincoln University Missouri is unaware of their history, and do not understand on a daily basis that they walk/stand upon greatness. There is enough blame to go around, but what good would that do? I don’t view this just a LU problem either; this is a universal issue.

Now more than ever, we need to be upfront, close, and very personal with our young people and inform them that Black people were not allowed in libraries for a very long time or were forced to leave due to the color of their skins if they dared to enter in the doors of knowledge {The Forbidden Fruit: Literacy}. There freedom to receive an education was paid for on the backs of our ancestors. If you do not know from whence you came, you will not be able to move forward according to the African principle, Sankofa. And, from what I read and learned thus far it is my responsibility to give them what they so rightfully deserve – The right to be able to read, seek, find, evaluate and use information in their everyday lives. In like manner, provide them with their cultural history and legacy and how they can add to it as recipients of a mighty-torch held by: Inman E. Page, Josephine Silone Yates, Oliver Cox and Albert Marshall. There are many other names that can be listed with regard to the great educators and administrators at Lincoln University Missouri.

If they do not understand that the very thing that they dislike (and was denied to them at one point and time and still is if you ask me) their history, reading, writing, thinking critically and understanding that they have the power to succeed through education by utilizing these skills– we will continue to witness our culture dissipate before our very eyes. Regardless of what you are working with, I say use it to the umpteenth power to give them the FREEDOMS that we are all entitled to, and become an advocate for your library – I have! I want better technology for our students, an arts platform that will have them camped-out inside of our library, a better printing system, a unique cultural learning environment that affords them the opportunity to have a place of solace and a safe-haven to be able sit and think mentally about their future without pressure. Again, I will say this that there are little over 6,000 Black librarians in this country and we can make a difference. We can do this by remembering the following: The library will provide them the opportunity to get a free education despite their problems, family issues, status in society and race (Black).

Share this with someone – they might need it, because #BlackLivesDoMatter.

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