At the end of March 2008, I spent the day with a 17-year-old Black male who shared with me why he carries a gun now and has carried one in the past. He lives in an urban area. His parents are middle class. He is a bright student. But he is America’s fasting growing statistic – he has carried guns, he has been shot, he has shot at other people, he has been arrested and he is now back in jail – all at the young age of 17 years old.I asked him, “Why do y’all carry guns?” It was a rhetorical question since we both grew up and live in the same area. Nevertheless, I did not want to be like my contemporary know-it-alls in social development. I wanted to hear it straight from someone who lives it every day. I continued, “You know what I’m saying? You know what I’m saying.”I let him answer and did not interrupt him. It was a rare moment in social youth development that I wanted to savor. The first rule: When young people speak, adults shut up! So he went on to tell me why he and his friends, who are known… Read full this story
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