a visual manifestation of the voices that have been cast aside from the mainstream narrative of an entire youth population in our country--the juvenile delinquents
I ask you to pause, to take a jaunt on a path for just a little while. To remove your hazed eyes, and ignite fresh glowing ones—alight with a curious gaze. I ask you to, before embarking, take a moment to reflect on your own perception, Delve into your own conscious perspective. How long have you thought how you have? What age did your eyes become victim to your head? When I say the words juvenile delinquent, what do you think? Where did those words come from, those images—how are your observations rooted in reality? Have you ever met one of what we speak of? Have you ever opened your heart? Have you ever heard their stories rather than impart your own part? Well here’s your call to listen, take off the mask you bare, This is a safe space where you’re called to reveal, strip yourself of what you’ve known, and instead of simply ingest, participate, and try to repair. React, allow the words to sink into your bones. Internalize, the music and the lyrical flow, Turn your gaze inward and follow, just go. Our preconceived notions of who these people are, Allow a system to perpetuate, and for things to continue as they are. But there is a problem here, As these voices reveal there is more than just what’s wrapped up in the box, These are lives we are talking about, and children who just don’t have a shot. Didn’t have access, or see a way out, didn’t have role models or someone to show an alternate route. Approximately 500,000 juveniles are sent to detention centers every year, rather than a place where they can talk to someone about their wounds and eventually heal. Their words are the outlet they’ve given themselves, so it’s time for us to listen and put our beliefs on the shelf. With constant degradation, image bending, and cultural stigmatization, brutal policing and violent home bases, How in the world are these kids even able to keep their heads above water, let alone lead a life that exists outside of these spaces?
My only hope is that somehow and some way, this piece can help grapple with a reality that at times can seem very far way. It’s easy to make certain, things one does not see, things one does not know, and has no ability to understand fully, But I’m offering a looking glass, a tiny way in, A miniscule way to not see through, but rather To engage in.
Thank you for coming, I hope this finds you well, and that you will choose to help move this stagnant process, simply by sharing the stories and continuing to tell. Speak of the hardships, of the things that aren’t so pretty, It’ll help us out of this slump that we’re in and hopefully give us the strength to prosper and get in touch. With not only our selves, but those around us too, And the certainties we create for ourselves, let’s question those too.