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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Eddie Griffin Supports MILLION FATHERS MARCH

Plez asked:
"Why should the public school system care about the plight of education of Black children when the Black community doesn't care?"

Eddie Griffin saz:
Do you assume, as fact, that the Black community doesn't care? Here is a test for all brothers who think of themselves as men: Answer the Challenge below or be a punk.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I wish to express my support to UMOJA and the Million Man Movement for calling upon fathers of school children to become more visible in their role as leaders, in leading our children back to school on Opening Day.(In Texas , that day would be Monday, August 27th).

Founded in 1994, UMOJA (which means “Unity” in Swahili) was formed by a group of black men for the purpose of providing leadership, mentoring, and serve as role models for young black boys. The organization has grown in number and diversity.

UMOJA is now calling for men everywhere to come forth, show visible support for our children, by accompanying them to school on the first day.

Realizing the start of the school year is an anxious time for both student and parent. Is it safe? Is it peaceful? Can my children learn in this environment? Will my child be bullied? What about the gang bangers, the haters, and the saggers?

Fathers need to see with their own eyes the school environment they are putting their children into. Maybe the presence of men accompanying their children to their first class will have a leveling effect on the teaching environment. Not only does it open the door for a return visit to the school, when needed. But it offers school children a chance to see Real Men, true role models and real heroes.

Eddie Griffin has been a friend with UMOJA since first being introduced to it by the late Johnny Wimbrey, one of the most profound civic leaders in the City of Fort Worth , a peace-maker by nature. As a witness to the work of UMOJA, I have watched them do effective work with black boys in the school system and out in the streets. We are allies in the fight,

THEREFORE, I join with them to issue a National Call to Order to all men, fathers, and male mentors, to step forward as true soldiers to physically escort our children to school and insure that at least the first day of school will be a wonderful experience.

Eddie Griffin


  1. As a mother, I am very happy when I see a father or two (of any color) alongside all the moms bringing their children to school.
    I'm happy for the child because he will remember the father's love and support - these are the things children take with them through life.
    I am happy for the mother because she has a good, upstanding man.
    And I am happy for the father because he knows what is really important in life.

    Why should public schools care about black children? If there is no other reason, there is the almighty dollar. Schools lose funding every time one student misses one day, and that really annoys them. Money may prove to be one of our biggest problems, and one of our best bargaining chips.

    I like this post a lot, Eddie. May I copy it or link to it?

  2. Eddie,

    i think some context should be added around the quote that you attributed to me at the top of this post: "Why should the public school system care about the plight of education of Black children when the Black community doesn't care?"

    your readers should know that i was paraphrasing a question that you (Eddie Griffin) posed - along with 5 other questions - in an earlier e-mail message to a group of individuals: "[Who], in the school system, really cares?"

    although, i am not misquoted, i do not want my words to be used to substantiate or validate something which i do not believe. by not stating that the context of our entire conversation, you may lead some of your readers to misconstrue my true beliefs.

    lastly, you say, "Answer the challenge below or be a punk."

    at first i thought you were calling me out... but then, i couldn't glean a challenge out of your little write up on the Million Fathers March. and once you point it out to me (as i'm sure you will), how does not answering it make someone a punk?

    personally, i feel that your heart is in the right place (about fixing our education system for Black children).

    tactically, i'm not confident that your approach will yield many positive results because you refuse to acknowledge the culpability of parents in the education of their children. and you have provided zero evidence that i am incorrect in that assertion.


  3. Plez, please read this essay about all that my mother, who was a college professor did to try to get the public school system to educate me, before she had to take me out of the public school system and educate me on her own dime.

    Now, if my mother was working on her doctorate and teaching at a college when all of this occurred, had this much trouble advocating for her sons, then what hope is there for less-educated parents struggling with systemically color-aroused school systems organized to practice discrimination against our children?

    There IS hope, but only by fighting tooth and nail day after day, and NEVER taking "no" for an answer.

  4. Thanks Ann for seeing the purpose of our effort and the challenge.

  5. Beautiful story, Francis. Now you understand why this is a frontal move against a failing public school.

  6. Plez,
    There was something in your earlier email about your "cheating" and "cherry picking" only the issue you wanted to deal with- which turned out to be, as always, the culpability of parents.

    You claim that I refuse to consider this factor. The problem here is, when I consider the parent, it takes me one step removed from the "injured" child. Why should I treat the parent for the wound to the child? Duh!

  7. Eddie,

    we have a difference of opinion on where to begin to fix something that is BROKEN (almost beyond repair). you refuse to even acknowledge the culpability of parents in the education of their children; as such, there is very little else to discuss on this subject. that's why i chose to "cherry pick" that particular issue with the public schools (and why you will continue to beat your head against the wall of a failing system).

    you say that such consideration takes you one step removed from the "injured" child, but isn't that where the cure begins? what is the purpose of addressing the EFFECT without looking at the CAUSE? as is the case with too many people, you put together knee jerk reactions to the problem without thoroughly examining and addressing the CAUSE of the problem (in this case, the parents). As Francis L. Holland so eloquently addresses on his blog, if it weren't for the persistence of his educated mother, his public school education would have been a disaster! If not for the persistence and diligence of my parents, my experience (and the experience of my 4 siblings) in the public school system would've been a disaster!

    so, YES, you should TREAT the parent for the wounds that they continually inflict upon their children! how else will the cycle of wounding ever be fixed?!? DUH!

  8. If we fix the schools, some kids will still have to go home to bad or inadequate homes. Likewise, if we help parents, the children will have a nicer home life but still dread school. I say if we can possibly work on both fronts at the same time, that would be the best thing. And while we're at it, working with the child himself before he/she is a parent will help control the problem before it starts for the next generation.

    All this is a tall order, so on which part of the problem do we focus? I would like to suggest that since we all ultimately want the same thing (a better life for children) we should each attack the part of the problem that best suits our talents. Those of us with a calling to help improve schools, do it. Those with a calling to constructively help parents should work on that.

  9. Mr. Griffin's challenge put forth in this post is very plain and straight forward. Let all those father's who support their children go with them to school the first day. Not only does it show the child their father's support, and dedication to learning, but it is something that the child will remember for years and years to come. That is the challenge, and an excellent one. Though it is directed to black father's, it could easily apply to all men, regardless of race.

    All children need a strong, caring male figure in their lives. They need the man who they call Dad, who is there for them, and stands with the woman they call Mom, through all the trials they will face. If they don't have that father figure, they will look for him elsewhere.

    I think Mr. Griffin has made a very good point, and if you accept this challenge, you are taking the very first step toward fixing a flawed school system. You must be aware of the problems, become involved in the process, before you can fix anything.