The James Logan High School Soujah'z

root - Posted on 20 April 2008

Three poverty scholars from POOR Magazine visit Logan High School for a revolutionary Youth in Media workshop.

by Queenanndi/PNN

"I believe the children are the future... Teach them well and let them lead the way"

After a refreshing visit with the students at Logan high school in Union City, this age-old saying proves far too true.

In the cooling month of October Tiny, aka Lisa Gray-Garcia, poverty scholar in residence at POOR Magazine and author of Criminal of Poverty: Growing up Homeless in America was invited by esteemed poet and indigenous Philipino scholar Oscar Penaranda, who is a teacher of Tagolog (one of several indigenous languages from the Philipines) to James Logan High School. Because Tiny does not practice individualism in ANYthing she does, including her readings and speaking tours, she invited fellow poverty scholars Ruyate, author of Not Even in Therapy/Recovering Poetically and myself, Queenanndi, POOR Press author of Life, Struggle and Reflection, to join her in one of POOR Magazine's revolutionary Youth in Media workshops with over 300 high school students and to hear their scholarship, thoughts and experiences.

There it was, all these youngstas from all different backgrounds, cultures and colors, with two things in common, same enemy, same struggle. When given the opportunity to shine with their heart felt "slam bioz," the whole REGION brightened as the heavy stone slab of pain and oppression lifted off the children through spoken word, and indeed, they did their thang.

As I looked into the audience, I asked a question, "If you had the chance to do the world over to make it a better place-how would you make change?" The responses ranged from feeding and housing the poor, to ending bloodshed, greed and war. Again, proven that if you are taught-early awareness through peace what I call "seed planting" the seed will grow into maturity with awareness in mind, and peace at heart. There will always be opposition, whether you do the wrong, or right thing.

The students' dreams of a better amerikkka were totally different from our country's present condition. I told the students that just because this country's foundation is bloody and violent, doesn't mean that our mentality and way of life has to be. Many kids had a puzzled look on their faces when I stated the fact that this country was founded on violence. But when I referred to President Bush as a "gangsta" in his merciless disregard and extermination of people here, and in Iraq and said, "Children, gangstas DO make the world go round," the children's nodding heads told me they fully understood.

As Tiny, Ruyata, and myself continued to awaken the revolutionary spirits within the Logan masses, we were overwhelmed by how in-tune the kids were to the ways of the world, and how brilliantly they expressed it. Not one child said that slaughter, scapegoating, or sadistic sacrifices were on their menu...If the world was theirs to do over.

For a sample of the work produced in this youth in media workshop click on po' poets project or paste into your browser.


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