For weeks I have been listening to and reading about what has been referred to as another “Great White Hope”, the movie, The Blind Side. From Twitter to consumer movie reviews, people have been up in arms about yet another film where a wealthy white family is pulling some poor black child out of his misery.
The film, for those who don’t know, is based on the life story about the unlikely rise and education of Baltimore Raven Michael Oher. How Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy – the wealthy, white, evangelical couple devoted themselves to the happiness and success of “Big Mike,” a black kid from the streets of Memphis, TN.
The movie could be exaggerated at moments, but the fact remains that the Tuohy’s saved him and provided him with an unbelievable opportunity beyond his reality. Afforded him a life he never dreamed of.
So I questions why are people so upset? Is it because of the portrayal of the black community? Is it because we let thousands of Oher’s slip through the cracks every year? Or is it because those of us who are affluent and intelligent enough to save some of our own won’t invest $1.00 or one hour of time volunteering to do so?
Times are hard- yes. We may not always be in a position to do what’s best for our children- yes. We may not be smart enough to help with homework- yes. But can we try? Yes. Do we have many useful free resources to assist us along the way- yes. Could we make the time to go to the school- yes. If we, along with the parent, aunt, and grandmother (the village) all give back and make time- we wouldn’t keep watching our neglectful stories on the widescreen and being wounded by it. Because I truly feel we are sensitive to it because we feel exposed.
Are there black people who create opportunities for the unfortunate? Of course there are. But we have to meet them half way. We have to create a sense of self and empowerment in our own children, and give them the desire to succeed in life. Children need hope that something better will come if you put in the work and focus on a goal. If they don’t have that, someone will tell them a different, fast, and even illegal way to get what they want.
Please encourage your children to dream, to read, to write, to want, to work, to save, to invest, to learn, to do, and to do it again. Don’t let your failures prohibit the future of our future.
I’m not standing on my soapbox. I too, could do more to encourage a younger generation to succeed and to be leaders. Here are a few local foundations and charities to possibly volunteer with. Do it again in 2010! LOL, it works…