Xavier Henderson finds a way to say, "Yes We Can"
Does education change the way America view African Americans?
The usual statements that regularly appear in a newspaper article concerning African Americans are related to violence. It's not often that something positive is said and written regarding them. This indicates that the overall mindset regarding this group of people is negative. Negative thinking keeps African Americans at the bottom simply because of how people with major influence perceives them. With my extensive historical background, I am able to understand the importance of creating positive messages that will deface the old mindset of people who only want to believe the negative rather than the positive.
As a new beginning, a local African American male decides that the negative mindset of violence will not deter his thinking. According to many sources, it's believed that prison for many young African American males will be an option. Statistics shows that majority of African American males will at least see the inside of a cell before the age of 25. However, there are individuals like Xavier Henderson who is looking to change the world in which he lives in.
The Change We Need
Change begins at home. Meaning we have to change the community that lives in you before you can change the community around you. We must understand that making a difference begins and ends with you. How you feel individually reflect the steps you will take to make the necessary changes. This is why self improvement comes before you can take on larger task that involves the lives of others. Xavier Henderson understand this.
Xavier Henderson is an intercity kid from the Grove. There (Pleasant Grove) he attended Bannerman Dealey Montessori for grade school, moving on to Skyline High school where he received his high school diploma. Currently, he is a senior in hopes of graduating in spring 2014 at the University of North Texas in Denton. There he studies communication minoring in political science. Xavier plays the piano, and enjoys; debating, reading, following and facilitating social events.
See what Yes We Can means to Xavier
When asked, what it means to say Yes We Can, he stated; “We can prevail. We can overcome the conditioned customs that we usually attribute to holding us back. We can overcome racism, sexism, intersectionality, and discrimination of all kinds.” Further stating, “The application of what you want to accomplish is deeply rooted in what you expose yourself to, therefore; reach out to others, in order to, learn from them and pass along information.”
More importantly, “most mistakes you are afraid of experiencing is someone else’s story already; with that being said, find a mentor and find ways to progress and move forward.” He concludes with this statement, “The man who wins is the man who is not afraid to fail.”
Being the leader that he is, Xavier believes in serving, tailoring his leadership endeavors after Martin Luther King Jr., President Obama, and his lord and savior Jesus Christ. Each of the three leadership styles creates an equilibrium that keeps Mr. Henderson fighting for his rights to be equal in an unjust society. He serves as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council at UNT, Fundraising chair for Progressive Black Student Organization, member of North Texas 40 (Top student leaders on campus), Big brother Big sisters, and National association of Black journalist.
Mr. Henderson was asked, what are your goals, and he replied, “I plan to teach in order to give back to the community I come from. It is my overall goal to reform education that is largely inequitable, and is deeply affecting individuals that are from low socioeconomic backgrounds.” He also plans to attend law school. His purpose for attending law school is to “work towards shaping public policy to combat systematic and institutional racism.”
Xavier’s responses to how do your past cater to your future, and how will you use it to benefit others, begins by saying, “My schooling has had the biggest impact on my future. Not merely the idea of what I have learned, but more of what I have been exposed to due to the diverse educational background I have experienced. “ He further explains by saying, “I went from a blue ribbon Montessori school in a suburban North Dallas area, to an urban inner city high school; Skyline. My experience provided me with insight on education as a whole, and its disparity trickling down throughout the neighborhoods I grew up in. The limited resources, egregious teacher to student ratio, and lackluster facilities, are factors consistent throughout the district.
Xavier Henderson’s perspective is one for the ages. His youth should not be used as a way to disavow him, but to uplift him, pushing him further into his destiny.
Phelesha Hamilton is the Author of Yes We Can, chronicling Barack Obama’s Presidency and its effects on youth.
President Barack Obama's 2008 Yes We Can speech
© 2014 Phelesha Hamilton