Three Generations of Women Offer Wisdom To Urban Youth
In an age where the music of choice includes degrading lyrics, plastic cards are used for fast-foods, and navels are decorated with diamond studs, could urban cries from the street be the voices of the next generation?
Voicing the climate of a young new age, urban girls stepped up to the plate with a message of no sex, no drugs, no hoochie clothes, and the refusal to allow urban-chic bad boys call them demeaning and destructive names. These young ladies were heralded at the recent Precious and Pearls Cultured Pearls Extravaganza in Columbia, Maryland.
Sponsored by one of the nation’s leading African American sororities, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA) Iota Lambda Omega Chapter, the sorority’s The Pearl Foundation, Inc, headed by President, Rosalynne R. Atterbeary, supported twelve young ladies, ranging in ages from 13 to 16 years old, as they voiced their concern for their peers, the next generation, and offered a viable solution. But could an old fashioned traditional attitude really catch on with other young teens?
Rejecting popular Jerry Springer counseling methods, boys, and beer, the twelve young women are catalysts in their Columbia, Maryland community, in becoming the new non-conformists. Listening to them at the 4th annual extravaganza, were their parents, friends, and the popular grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter Pearls of Wisdom from Three Generations trio, Celia Ford, Theresa Allen, and Pamela Simonson, who served as Mistresses of Ceremonies for the gala event.
“ “Crabs in a basket” is an old Black saying,” described Allen, who explained when one crab tries to get to the top of the basket, others try and bring it down with their claws. Penning a popular advice column, Ask Pearls of Wisdom, with her mother and daughter, who were 75, 50, and 25, Allen continued by emphasizing to the girls and audience, to keep climbing to the top of the basket and shake off irritating grips, in order to triumph over life’s obstacles.
Wearing floor-length pink gowns and listening attentively to the message by Ford, Allen, and Simonson, who offered words of wisdom, inspirational encouragement, and vignettes, from their best-selling book, Pearls of Wisdom from Three Generations (Thelemaque Publishing), the twelve young ladies also had their own youthful and progressive ideas. They also had a solution that was plain and simple.
Sharing descriptions of service-oriented projects and non-conformist attitudes; ranging from abstinence to renouncing demeaning bad-boys who call them h ---- and b------ in rap videos, they offered that community involvement and reaching outside the box is a way to combat the negativity to attempts to entrance them. Clothing drives, youth services, and an abstinence program for peers were also described. Their tone?…committed, resolved, determined. But there was another common thread voiced among the girls, as proud parents, supporters, and AKA members listened to the M-Generation.
Adorned in pearls and fresh done hair dos, their message was loud and clear. Wisdom. Called Cultured Pearls and Precious Pearls by the AKA Sorority, each of the young lady’s descriptions included thoughts of generational legacy, words of wisdom, and ancient adages.
Ford, Allen, and Simonson were delighted with these self-proclaimed young non-conformists, when they heard age-old words of wisdom, incorporated into their frame of reference.
“Our book talks about crabs in a basket,” stated Simonson, the youngest of the Pearls of Wisdom from Three Generations and an opera singer with the Washington National Opera.
"We all need to recognize who may trying to pull us down", she continued.
Ford, a retired Registered Nurse, shared her granddaughter’s sentiments of delight, expressing that the young ladies aspire to rise to the top of the basket, in spite of their odds, is a powerful testimony to a challenging generation.
“They could be the tip of a new generational iceberg, ready to take a stand in the midst of negative rap rubble,” the native New Yorker proclaimed.