… what I witnessed, heard, and actualized gave me more faith in this next generation of students than I have ever had before.
And the kids are alright.
Twenty-plus years of teaching (and the fact that I didn’t start until my late 20’s) reminds me that I am not by any means young in body any longer. On average, I am just about three-times older than my students I had in class this year. My graduation from high school and college happened last century.
But the serious problems this country had last century and even centuries before are still serious problems we have this century. This is the front page of today’s Winston-Salem Journal:
The people I marched with yesterday came from various backgrounds with many older people such as myself, BUT…
The number of students and younger people who just might be voting in their first national elections this fall were staggering. It was their energy that fueled that peaceful protest.
There was no violence. There was no cursing.
There was purpose. There was understanding and quest to understand more.
As it has been with many of the protests in my hometown, there was a time where the crowd passed the county jail complex that resides in the middle of the city. It’s a rather large building and its design is one that seeks to separate the outside world from the confines of those incarcerated.
Many of the incarcerated are there for very petty offenses. Many of them never had the means to pay for defense or bail. And the demographic makeup of that population by no means reflects the dynamics of America.
The students in that protest know that. They know the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Armaud Arbury, and the many others whose lives were lifted up yesterday.
They watch the news.
They offer opinions.
They ask hard questions.
They are willing to step outside of their “boxes” and “safety nets.”
They are not afraid to say the names.
They will be motivated to vote.
And they will teach.
They sure were teachers yesterday.