Senior Class of Frederick Douglass

Class of 2012



*Written by:

Dr. Willie J. Kimmons
Educational Consultant for Pre K-16 Schools; Title I Schools, Teachers and Parents; Motivational Speaker; Author; Former Classroom Teacher, Superintendent of Schools; College Professor, College President and Chancellor

To My fellow alumni of Frederick Douglass High School:

IÕm responding to a request made by one of our outstanding students, and member of the 2012 class seeking the alumniÕs vote to win the ÒPlatinum PromÓ contest.

IÕve always supported students and our young people when it comes to academics, athletics and scholarships. But, after I clicked on the link and carefully listened to the hip hop lyrics, there is no way I could in my good conscious, support this effort. The hip hop language was vulgar, offensive to women, mothers and Black folk in general. I know young people are going to listen to this kind of music regardless of what we do or think about it, but my fellow alumni, we donÕt have to endorse it.

As a former superintendent of schools, college president, public school teacher, college professor, motivational speaker and writer for young people and author, I say we need to encourage and support our young people in a more positive way to have fun at a prom and take a stand for once and say no to this foolishness. Too many of our young people have been addicted to drugs, involved in gang activities and murdered because of listening to some of the hip hop music.

My fellow alumni, too often we have given in to our young peopleÕs pressure. We have become enablers to our younger generation. When they canÕt read, write or articulate in a decent sentence to be able to get into college or get a decent job; then they blame us, the older generation. Our young people need socialization, I realize this. They need a social life to relate to their peers, but, we, as responsible adults need to give them a balanced life. We should encourage things that will assist them in life, to go to college, to be presentable for college interviews and job interviews. This, my fellow alumni, is my personal and professional response as a parent, grandparent, fellow alumni and concerned citizen for our young people.


*Submitted to CFN by Dr. Kimmons in March 2012.
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