Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Young Ones Don't Have Friends They Have Associates Revisited: On the Wisdom of Fresh and the Seduction of the Innocent

A clip from Fresh seemed appropriate given the earlier post on the calculating and coordination-game behavior practiced by children born to the ghetto underclasses. In light on Dr. Small's hypothesis, I wanted to quickly revisit the chess and life analogy so deftly used in that film. I wonder is there a bit of nobility in the fact that black folks in this country--and those who have historically suffered (and fought against) power--have to grow up earlier than the children of the privileged? Or in that necessity is there a bit of tragedy where many of our young folks learn "what it means to be a problem" early on, and are thus robbed of the freedom and innocence that ought to come with childhood?

I am at a loss. On one hand the strength of black folks in America is our ability to manage smiles and cries along with a deeply held, tragicomic sense of irony. However, I worry that as a function of our understanding of the ways in which life can be fundamentally unfair, many of us harden our children in order to give them the magical armor necessary to do battle in a world that was not necessarily designed for their success.

Are my worries misplaced or are they both necessary and reasonable?


Plane Ideas said...


Your concerns are appropriate and deserved to be discussed..Yet I don't think these parenting challenges and youth development are any different for any ethnic or collective..

The human being is a social animal as such we react accordingly to whatever..

As Black folks it is imperative to acknowledge our plight in a racist country and react accordingly..I have argued we can survive, develop and excel in spite of the legacy of our nation..Yes some of us are noble, wounded, victorious etc..

With or without the armor..We will live ...We carry on in this bold world

chaunceydevega said...

Thrasher. Your wisdom is always appreciated. But, and I bristle at the overused phrase "unique," yet if we grant something very specific about the "black experience" in America (a point open for debate), would there not be distinct challenges of raising young black boys and girls to live in this society?

Plane Ideas said...


Of course there are distinct challenges to raising our youth( Black Girls & Boys) but that is the nature of the script and it is a narrative which our 'unique' genius as a people have handled as we navigate these lethal venues from boardrooms to locker rooms to classrooms of the majority culture..

Often when I attend funerals I am blown away and I marvel at what Black folks have done with so little in a lifetime..Now instead of examining the life of the dead I cherish and marvel at the lives of the living especially Black folks in America..

We are some bad mamajammmas..We really are despite all the scars..Our canvass is loaded, our footprints are like no other...