“Ways to Empower Black Youth,” by Stephanie Younger

By Stephanie Younger •

What can we do to empower Black youth instead of criminalizing and undermining us for speaking up, and censoring their history? Instead of discouraging Black youth away from activism, encourage them to be a voice in their community and let it be our passion, our livelihood.

Black youth need to know their true history, inside and out. If we censor content that shows what the real world is like for us, how are we going to know the truth?

Instead of criminalizing and demonizing Black teens for “acting out,” we should give Black youth the freedom to utilize platforms to speak out against injustices. Instead of demonizing Black kids, we should realize how bold, passionate, powerful and revolutionary they really are.

It’s time to pass the baton to the next generation and let us drive, and sometimes we need your help. If we undermine Black youth, our communities will not progress.
If you look at the material conditions of Black youth, especially Black girls, it should be clear that they have every single right to feel the they do. We may feel negative about these injustices, but we should make sure our activism positively impacts the community.

Stephanie Younger is a 15-year-old writer based in Central Virginia.