The Boys and Girls Club at Lauderhill, FL ROCKS!

Happy Hump Day, All!

Yes, it is Wednesday again … I am up early again … and I’ve got a story to share with you again!

But first, I’d like to mention that for the past few days, the news has been broadcasting a story about a little girl and her brother who had been terribly abused by their foster parents. It was last year on Valentine’s Day that a pesticide truck that was pulled over on a highway in West Palm Beach, FL was part of a gruesome discovery. While the Department of Children and Families in Miami had been alerted multiple times about the abuse of these adopted children, it took the discovery of this “home business” pesticide truck with the body of a deceased Nubia Barahona wrapped in plastic and the body of her fraternal twin brother, Victor, doused in chemicals but still clinging to life in the front seat, to finally get the two monstrosities of foster parents behind bars … Peace be still. Every time I see the photos of Nubia’s smiling face, I wonder what type of person could throw bread and milk into a bathtub to feed two children, pour hot sauce in the eyes, mouth and ears of young Victor and even force him to eat a cock roach?!?! My eyes fill with tears, and … I honestly feel a sense of hopelessness, yet not like she must’ve felt. RIP, Nubia … we love you. Now, you are officially God’s child … with your Creator … never to suffer again.

So, yesterday, I was propelled to the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County’s Lauderhill, FL facility directed by Mr. Eric Louis. A special thanks to my “Big Brother” Robbie Williams for lending me his truck to cart my materials. We, Eric and I, had made plans for me to visit in celebration of Black History Month. I thought about Nubia, and my own daughter, Ayanna, several times throughout the presentation. It gave me energy and determination and a goal to reach and inspire and involve these young people in my presentation. I was particularly impressed when after my opening skit from “American Gangster” where I do a prayer, I asked the group of kids who surrounded me courtside in the gym there, if anyone knew what I was recounting, you know, the source? One young lady, no more than 10 perhaps, like Nubia and Victor, raised her hand. I brought the microphone over to her and she said, “The 23rd Psalm”! Not only was I happy for her and the fact that such a young person could NAME the scripture, but I remembered my mother and how and when she taught me to memorize that passage … especially in times of discomfort and indecision.

The presentation was funtastic as I incorporated all the stories I knew of James Brown singing “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud!”, to Louie Armstrong and the trumpet he found in the trash at the orphanage right up until and including a big fan of the Boys and Girls Club, Mr. Denzel Washington. Over the course of this day, perhaps this month, or even our lives, may we take the time to touch base with the youth in a loving and positive way. Thanks again, Mr. Eric Louis … and thanks to all the kids and staff … at the Lauderhill, FL Boys and Girls Club!

Always yours … in peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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