The children are the future of America and of Arkansas and they were represented in numbers during Pine Bluff's Solidarity Rally on Thursday, June 4.
The children are our future and they were represented in numbers during Pine Bluff’s Solidary Rally on Thursday, June 4.
A mother consoled her 17-year-old son who had tears streaming down his face as he listened to his peers describe a harsh reality for young black men because of the color of their skin.
Joshua Hunt, a Pine Bluff High graduate, expressed his frustration as a guest speaker during the rally on a system that ignores and neglects the voices of minorities.
“If you look like me then you know the fear that I feel,” said Hunt. “You know my frustrations.”
Hunt expressed his beliefs on a system that was built on the oppression of minorities to benefit the majority’s will.
“George Floyd and countless others have fell victim to the hate in our country. The hate that has ran rapid for hundreds of years, the hate that has been used to execute and exile us in this land of the free,” said Hunt.
Hunt who got very emotional during his speech said he knows the struggle of trying to make it out the streets with society labeling those who do make it a rapper, or an athlete.
“Understand that the circumstances are not acceptable so do not become comfortable with the confinement they are trying to keep us in,” said Hunt. “We shouldn’t have to live this way and fear those who are sworn to protect us. We shouldn’t be here trying to fight for rights that are supposed to be available to us, rights that are available to us at birth.”
Siblings Jamee McAdoo and Leron McAdoo know the fight all to well as they come from a family of Civil Rights Activist.
“I’ve always appreciated and known the history and how impactful racism is and unfortunately how long it has been going on,” said Jamee the 2019 Little Rock Central graduate. “I think that it’s always up to the new generation to eliminate it for the next generation.”
Jamee reference a tweet she saw on twitter from an older white man that read “I’m sorry my generation didn’t end this for you.”
“That really stuck with me because if my generation doesn’t do anything, then our grand children will face the same problems,” said Jamee. “Protesting the unjust killing of George Floyd, I think our generation can be the ones to make a true difference.”
Her brother Leron agrees. The junior at Tennessee State University said change in our society is long overdue.
“I feel like at a certain point silence becomes the oppressor,” said Leron. “If you are silent you are not speaking up. You’re not doing all that you can do, and then you’re part of the problem.”
Leron said the duties of black citizens of America are to protest injustice.
“We have to unite together to try to fight against it and it’s been happening,” said Leron. “It’s been happening since the creation of the country.”
Wisdom and knowledge dwelled through the young people who said for far to long they have been limited and told to stay in a child’s place.”
“Adults please realize that age only determines how long we’ve been here on earth and is not a number that determines our level of intelligence or our understanding,” said Hunt. “We hold the keys to change. Now more than ever we should be motivated to educate ourselves and put ourselves in position to make a difference. We have to be the change that we want to see. Yes we are the future but why wait to act when we can go out and have an impact in our community today.”
Hunt offered words of encouragement to the future generation, especially the ones who weren’t dealt the best hand in life and felt like the streets were their only option.
“Be patient,” said a hopeful Hunt. “The key is to educate ourselves and pour knowledge into one another because knowledge is power and there is nothing more powerful than an educated black man or woman.”
Jamee said focus on inner peace and train your spirit to seek tranquility will help you heal from the pain of black history.
“We must spread positivity and love to combat those who have hate against us and instill that same hate into us in our communities,” said Hunt. “We have strength in numbers and we are stronger with each other. People around the world must know all lives can’t matter until all black lives matter.”