Here are three things we must do right now:
1. Insist on that young people receive age-appropriate but comprehensive health and sexuality education. The abstinence only education movement has failed miserably and our children are paying high prices.
2. Pull our heads out of the sand. Our children live in an incredibly sexualized culture. If we don’t help them to discern what is going on, help them to navigate through the quagmire, and help them to learn to think before they act, they MAY figure it out on their own, but it also MAY be too late. And they will certainly and rightfully never trust those of us who could have spoken truth to them ever again.
3. Refuse to allow right wing people and left wing people to — and middle-of-the-road-don’t-know-what-they-think-people determine whether our children will learn what they need to learn about keeping their bodies healthy and avoiding unnecessary risks. Stop waiting for permission to teach the young people in your life the clinical facts about reproduction, sexually transmitted diseases, bodily functions, etc.
Finally, maybe black girls are at risk because black women are still at risk? Until Black women become proactive about their own health — and prepare and assign themselves to be the primary sexuality educator for the girls in their lives, our girls will continue to show up on the front pages of newspapers as statistical headlines.
Come on sisters, do you know how to prevent yourself from contracting a sexually transmitted disease?