Monday, May 9, 2016

Filmmaker Rahiem Shabazz's Call to Action: Black People Must Educate Their Children

Photo Credit: Calvin Evans (photographer)

Once we become conscious of what is innate, greatness can be achieved. If we are blessed enough to be introspective, we know that we have to create our own opportunities. We learn not to be a burden on our people and become prepared to utilize resources to push social change to eradicate the thought that there are no alternatives. Using critical thinking is the key and not apologizing is the stance, but how do we deal with those that don't understand their inborn sources are truly being tampered with? My recent conversation with filmmaker/producer and owner of Rasha Entertainment Inc., Rahiem Shabazz, shed some light on the topic of genocide and its relevance in the educational system and how underhanded this tampering is.

From an early age while attending public school, Shabazz was able to discern between memorization and actually learning. He didn't do well in school.  "I barely attended." Still, Shabazz understood the importance of education. Our ancestors told the story over and over again, and he was a student of their teachings.

"Intelligence rules the world and ignorance carries the burden." - Marcus Garvey
Shabazz also knew that knowledge was not going to come from a textbook about a man who claimed to have discovered America. Unfortunately, Shabazz was one of many that fell victim to the school-to-prison pipeline, the shameful school system that forces teachers to teach a standardized curriculum, one that is set up for failure.

Fortunately, Shabazz was given the chance to better himself. In doing so, it set off a chair of life events that would bring to light the core of this atrocity. During his six-year incarceration, he went to college and graduated in the top 5% of his class.

"When we know better we do better."

Armed with his byline, knowledge of self and the love for his people, Rahiem Shabazz has been making some noise in the film sector with his series of documentaries Elementary Genocide (The School-to-Prison Pipeline) and Elementary Genocide 2 (The Board of Education v. The Board of Incarceration) specifically geared to bring awareness of educational genocide and its effects. Shabazz has been given the opportunity to flex his writing prowess on the pages of The Source, XXL and Vibe Magazines in pursuit of spreading understanding and providing solutions to this crisis.

Shabazz has been touring all over the United States screening the documentaries to diverse audiences and giving lectures to open up talks about this very important subject. According to Shabazz, all ethnicities have been receptive to the documentaries. It is Shabazz's opinion that, "People want to be on the right side of history." Most are concerned, if nothing more, that the school-to-prison pipeline exists and is in full effect.

Shabazz enlightened me on the statistic comparing the public school system encompassing 85% black students taught by 70% white teachers. I wanted to know if the teachers were even aware what they are teaching is culturally biased and created to siphon black children directing into the belly of the beast. Shabazz revealed that most become teachers to make a difference, but are met with resistance when they want to veer away from the curriculum. 

"It is up to parents to teach their children about their heritage." - Rahiem Shabazz

I don't want to give away the essence of the documentaries, but it is no secret that our educational system gets a D-rating. Shabazz has been working tirelessly to bring awareness, and he does offer the solution of homeschooling. Shabazz is aware that a lot of people do not have the ability to home school, but he believes a child's education starts at home and continues at home after school has ended. 

"The enemy will never teach the science of mating, business or warfare." - Elijah Muhammed

With various awards under his belt, respect among his fellow journalism peers, an apprenticeship under Roger Bobb and the opportunity to interview the likes of Tyler Perry, 50 Cent and Magic Johnson, Shabazz's wants his archival files to reflect that he used his innate ability to make a difference, he was a credit to his race and he made sure he broke the generational curse in teaching our children and adults about the African American heritage.

Thank you Mr. Shabazz for always being true to yourself. It was refreshing and enlightening, the talks we have had. It is my hope one parent is informed, and they tell another parent and so forth. Once we have been made aware of something, we can't act like we don't know. Notice has been served.

Click the links below to access the documentary series and to connect with Shabazz on social media:

Elementary Genocide
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, +Rahiem Shabazz  (Google+)


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