Plain Dealer Presents “Growing Up Cleveland” Written and Narrated by Basheer Jones


 

Growing up Cleveland Growing up Cleveland Take a look at life for Cleveland’s children through the lenses of Plain Dealer photographers as you listen to an essay by one of the city’s sons: Basheer Jones. Watch video

How do you expect them to feel, when everything they love goes up in smoke? 

The things that are most dear to them are snatched away at the hands of violence. When their future seems so blurry if not totally dark.

With facial expressions that scream leave me alone! And I need love at the same time!

When did our future become hopeless? Some wouldn’t know love if it stood right over their shoulder.

Classrooms that yell failure, neighborhoods that yell death. And our angels are snatched away for no other reason than because they were beautiful!

Why are they angry? Why aren’t you angry is a better question?

Pain is an everyday emotion and to be let down has become an expectation. Their hero’s don’t live happily ever after.

Hold me, they scream. Guide me they shout! Don’t I deserve to be loved???!!!!!

basheer-jones.JPGView full sizeSpecial to The Plain DealerName: Basheer Jones
Age: 26
Education: Martin Luther King Jr. High School, Morehouse College
Occupation: Speaker, poet and author
Motto: Be the change
Contact him at: The Basheer Jones Foundation

Of course you do. You deserve to be held up high and admired. You deserve to be applauded! Because despite the ugly odds, you are beautiful. You are funny. You are a genius. You are cool. You are successful. You are innocent. You are loving. Despite the hatred, you smile.

There will always be opposition. But we’ve overcome before with action and prayer. Prayer in any way you see fit.

The dream of Dr. King did not die with him but it is alive in each and every one of us.

There will be time when we will have to hold hands, but success is inevitable with hard work, patience and persistence.

You are champions despite who leaves or stays. I salute you .

Why? Because even when there is so much to be upset about, you find a reason to smile. And you should, because your smile brings light to our darkest moments.

We must prepare for our future by planting seeds of excellence today.

(Having trouble viewing the video? Watch it on youtube)

 

 

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