Falling Stars

“THROUGHOUT HISTORY THE POWERS OF SINGLE BLACK MEN FLASH HERE AND THERE LIKE FALLING STARS AND DIE SOMETIMES BEFORE THE WORLD HAS RIGHTLY GAUGED THEIR BRIGHTNESS”- W.E.B. DUBOIS

Falling Stars
By. Joseph Green

This quote by the great W.E.B Dubois was so profound to me. As I was reading his book “The souls of Black folk” I seen this playing out today in our society. Remember this book was written in the 1903. Since then we have seen great men like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Tupac Shukur, Notorious B.I.G to name a few, die before the world could fully gauge their greatness. They were killed early in their lives many before the age of 30. Their deaths showed their brightness and power. They were vocal about black pride and unity. Justice and Equality.

Statistics show that black men remain far more likely than any other race to come to prison. The black imprisonment rate at the end of 2018 was nearly twice the rate among Hispanic’s and five times the rate among whites. In 2018, black Americans represented 33% of the sentenced prison population, that’s nearly triple their 12% share of the U.S adult population. Granted these rates have been on the decline since the late 2000’s. However according to the bureau of justice the women’s prison population is declining at less than half the rate of the men’s population. Between 2009 and 2019, the men’s prison population declined by 1.2% per year, while the women’s population has declined by 0.05%

I make references to these statistics to show that our deaths are not just physical in the sense of no longer being alive. Many black men come to prison by the age of 24. Hence dimming the light and potential of many young men. This is before they even realize their greatness and true potential. Many young black men show natural leadership skills however this energy is not being guided in the right direction. As I have stated before in many of my post that we lack mentors in our communities. I’ve heard countless men say that if they had a father or male figure present daily in their lives they wouldn’t be here in prison today.

No longer should we allow our bright stars to fall. Only to let them die or be encaged behind bars never to share their brightness with the world. Mr. Dubois also said this, “In the history of nearly all other races and peoples the doctrine preached at such crises has been that manly self-respect is worth more than lands and houses, and that a people who voluntarily surrender such respect or cease striving for it are not worth civilizing”! Teaching self-respect helps our stars from falling victim to this system and cemetery!

I want to thank you for visiting thoughts beyond the wall!