One Final, Soaring Hope
Building the Campgrounds of Renewal
As an adviser to the filmmaking team, I was privileged to see some of the earliest working images of the Eyes on the Prize series. Ever since then, I've been obsessed, sometimes overwhelmed, by a relentless vision, a wild and soaring hope: What if we could get some of our young sisters and brothers off the most dangerous streets, out of the drug-related traps of quick, apparently easy, bloodied money, away from the flashy, destructive models (both human and automotive), apart from their lethal weapons and their beepers, out of the crippled and often crippling schools, freed from the brutalizing cycle of the criminal justice system. If, with the help of these films, we could create and discover together a new set of personal, family, and social options for their lives. If.
Yes, I think, if we could perhaps find a way to convince a dozen, or twenty, or fifty of them, along with their most supportive, least despairing grandmothers, uncles, parents — whoever is ready to risk a new beginning, to provide the needed support. If we could journey together with such a group to John's Island or to Lincoln University, or to a campground in the Maine or Michigan woods, or even to a monastery or retreat center on the Pacific coast. And there, here, wherever, if we could gather the young people and some of their family members, together with half a dozen other serious, centered, creatively mature