Saturday, February 16, 2008
What Does a Brotha' Have to Do to Get Some Love?
Sisterdoc was watching Fox 2 News (Detroit) on Thursday when 13 year-old Jeremia was featured in an adoption story. There are more than 4000 children in Michigan’s foster care system, and Jeremia is one of them. He said he has never had a real family, and that he dreams of someone calling him “my son.” Viewers learned something else very important about Jeremia: “When somebody says I can’t do anything. I prove them wrong in a positive way. When my (foster) dad said I couldn’t achieve a 3.0, I got a 4.0…and I was glad about it!”
Sniffle…. Folks, you should have seen this adorable boy! [Check out myfoxdetroit.com and search "Heart gallery"].
The very next day, Fox 2 News aired a story about Nathaniel Abraham. Nathaniel was eleven when he shot and killed a man, Ronnie Greene, Jr. Nathaniel spent 10 years in jail and was released last year (2007). Nathaniel left jail representin’ a style and swagger that left folks wondering how soon he would find himself behind bars again (yep, that's him in the picture). This week Detroit multi-millionaire/real estate tycoon Herb Strather signed Nathaniel to a record contract so that Nathaniel can release “real and raw” rap music, though we are assured there will be “no n-word” and “no misogyny.” Herb even hooked Nathaniel up with music producer Mike Powell. They are now planning a CD release party.
Sisterdoc is glad that Strather is working to keep Nathaniel on the straight and narrow. According to the National Governor’s Association, in 2004 the Detroit area had a recidivism rate of 44%. This means that approximately 3,900 out of 10, 000 released inmates will find themselves back in jail within two years.
However, kids in foster care need some support too. According to a February 2008 report, foster children aren’t receiving the very basic of needs and services. They aren’t getting medical care. They don’t even get to see a dentist. They don’t have stable placements, and they frequently experience severe abuse.
I wonder what Jeremia’s future would hold if he was afforded the same kind of attention, mentoring, and resources as Nathaniel. Does Jeremia have to murder someone and do time before someone reaches out to him? What if we took the amount of the CD release party alone and put it toward Jeremia’s education or health care fund? Perhaps we would worry less that some in foster care might end up behind bars too.
(Image: Nathaniel Abraham walking out of prison)