Friday, July 25, 2008

Youth speak out in South Shore

Two regular themes on this blog are the need for effective youth programming and the benefits of creating communication vehicles that give voice to neighborhood viewpoints.

Richard Muhammad has combined the two in Youth Speak South Shore, a media literacy and writing program that seeks to "heighten the understanding of youth regarding consumption of media, provide youth with tools to examine media and the skills to create alternatives. In particular, the program focuses on issues of race and the portrayal of Blacks and how these images and caricatures of Blacks persist."

The first blog entry, by 19-year-old Stephen Gardner, takes a critical look at the CNN series Black in America, in which the television crew filmed a Houston dropout-prevention group as it encouraged a young boy, at his home, to go back to school. Gardner writes:

"Now readers please ask yourself this question – how would you react if complete strangers showed up at your house in the afternoon, bombarding you with pleas to return to your job? Under the gaze of television cameras and reporters that just so happened to be there as well?"

It's a provocative piece and a promising debut for new writers in South Shore. Read the full entry at

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