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Final Call editor speaks to young men and aspiring journalists

By News | Last updated: May 8, 2014 - 9:07:11 AM

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Final call editor, Richard Muhammad spoke to 35 young males and a few females at Randallstown High School in Randallstown, Md. about journalism and how to handle conflict among their peers.
RANDALLSTOWN, Md. - Final Call editor Richard B. Muhammad recently spent the day at Randallstown High School, just across the line from Baltimore City line and a suburban school that suffers from problems usually associated with urban schools.

The community remains relatively affluent but problems seen as “city” problems have crept across the county-city border—and include concerns about school success, violence, drugs and challenges suffered by residents who are not so affluent. He was invited to speak as  part of the PBIS Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports program by Robyn Thomas Washington and Michael Thompson of the Dress for Success Speakers’ Series.

Mr. Muhammad, who grew up in Baltimore and went to school in the city, was invited to talk to students. He incorporated the visit into other work he had scheduled on the East Coast. “I was really honored to have the chance to speak with these young people, these young men and journalism students. But speaking with the young men, their eagerness to learn and engage was humbling. Our children need for us to share our time, our energy, our knowledge to help them develop and move forward,” he said.

Accompanied by Demond Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 6 in Baltimore, the Final Call editor’s subject was “What Is Your Value?” He talked about the importance of Black youth to the future of Black America and how self-knowledge, self-love, self-respect and unity along with the acquisition of knowledge leads to power.

“Thank you Richard Muhammad for spending the day at Randallstown High School and sharing your experiences as a youth in Baltimore City and your journey to becoming editor in chief of the Final Call newspaper,” said Mrs. Thomas Washington, an instructor at Randallstown. “Students appreciated your words of wisdom and the life lessons shared with them. What a valuable experience you provided to them.”

Mr. Muhammad shares experiences of his youth while growing up in Baltimore with students at a local suburban high school.
The editor spoke with 35 young men and in a morning session primarily geared toward male students, though a few female students attended. After that morning session, Mr. Muhammad spent time with students in a journalism class talking about the craft, points of view, ethics, power, media bias and independent media.

Young men in the morning session were asked what they learned from Mr. Muhammad’s presentation and their learning included: “To love yourself.” “I learned a lot of interesting facts about a Black person’s income.” “This presentation was great.” “I have the power to change things.” “Don’t fight if you have a conflict, discuss by mediating.” “Being a Black male or just a Black person can be hard, but we will rise to the top someday. All we have to do is work hard because we all have power.” “That we as Black people have come far, and bring a third person to work out the flaws.” “African Americans are reviving, making a comeback.” “I learned that you can go through all sorts of adversity and still succeed.” “You should attend County Council meetings.”

“Don’t’ be the aggressor. Love in peace.” “We are equal. We should respect and love one another.” “Today, I learned that everything does not have to be through violence.” “Make your ambitions reality despite obstacles that lay in your path.” “That it’s better to disarm the situation, to attack it with words or without violence.” “I think it was a good speech because you told us about family and a good look, about your life. Also you told us about changing your life.” “Learn how to grow up and live a long time.” “When you argue, you open the door to conflicts.” “Educate myself on Black leaders and their teachings.” “If you have a problem, you talk about it.” “To not fight for (probably over) everything.” “The friendship and love we need to share with each other.”  “Everyone has their own value.” “That us brothers must stick together and unite to fight the man to get our rights back and better than ever.” “I learned how to love myself.”