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Grizzlies Season Of Giving w/ JaMychal Green

Every year during the Holiday Season the Memphis Grizzlies partner with local businesses and organizations to spread the Holiday spirit throughout the community

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis’ mission statement is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring responsible citizens.  Through the NBA Cares initiative the Memphis Grizzlies have partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis.

Zach Randolph and Tony Allen may not be members of the Grizzlies roster,  but they are still part of the Memphis community.  They impacted the citizens of the city and their teammates.  When the news broke earlier this year the Randolph and Allen would no longer be a member of the Grizzlies there was worry within the Boys and Girls Club about who would look out for their kids during the Holiday Season.  Fret not,  JaMychal Green picks up right where Randolph and Allen left off.

“The children we serve live in the most economically depressed areas within Shelby County. About 90% of our members reside in high poverty, high crime neighborhoods in the 38126, 38141, 38118, 38122, and 38107 zip codes. The vast majority of the youth (over 90 percent) are from working class families who are at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. (The federal poverty threshold changes annually and varies by family size. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the threshold for a family of three with one child is about $18,750.) Many of these young people live in public housing properties managed by the Shelby County Housing Authority. The schools in these areas struggle to address the basic educational needs of youth within the school day. Parents, the School Board of Shelby County, Memphis Police Department, and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department regularly make referrals to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis.” From bgcm.org

The core values of the Boys & Girls Club aim to positively influence the students characters and beliefs.  Vice President of Operations Vinson Smith says, “When you start building on someone that has perhaps had negative experience in their life and you start recognizing the positive things and you keep building on that, it’s a way of changing a persons character and their beliefs in that ‘I Can Do This’.  In most cases children are exposed to situations that are negative and therefore they start having self doubt.”

For years the narrative has been pushed that sports, drug dealing, or rapping were the only way out of the hood.  Ironically enough, those that pushed out this narrative weren’t from the hood and they did not rely on any of the aforementioned methods to keep them out of the hood.  The higher ups and those in power went to college, started businesses and became doctors & lawyers.  On ‘Things Done Changed’ Notorious BIG said

“if I wasn’t in the rap game I’d probably have a key knee deep in the crack game Because the streets is a short stop Either you’re slingin crack rock or you got a wicked jumpshot Shit, it’s hard being young from the slums”

On ‘Some How Some Way’ Jay Z raps

“Whether we dribble out this motherf****r Rap metaphors and riddle out this motherf****r Work second floors, hospital out this motherf****r Some how we gotta get up out this motherf****r Some day the cops will kill a motherf****r I don’t always want to be this drug dealing motherf****r damn”

During the 70’s and 80’s this described mindset was reality for the majority of Afrikan Americans.  Although there are currently far more opportunities for Afrikan Americans, this mindset still applies to many today.  Through social engineering and the School to Prison Pipeline, a never ending cycle was and will plague the black community.

The Boys & Girls Club  is doing their part to reverse these negative trends.  With the Memphis Grizzlies as partners The Boys & Girls Club are able to continue having a positive effect on our community.

Stay tuned to WeDontBluff.Net for the next installment of Grizzlies Season of Giving


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