OP-ED: “Let’s Not Lock Our Youth Out of Their Creativity and Potential”


I recently met a seven-year-old Steph Curry of the future. Then again, maybe I actually met a Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, or Matisse of the future.





His name is Michael Anthony, and he was shooting hoops in a local area gym. When I complimented him on his homemade version of the Curry’s Warriors State #30 t-shirt, he sadly responded, “But I’d like a real one!”

I asked myself “What’s more authentic than an original?


I told his grandmother that I’d rather have his real one. After all, many Steph Curry’s will come and go, but not as many Picassos or Vincent Van Goghs.JEStory2


All of our young talented athletes won’t make it to the pros. Many who truly love sports of any kind can be successful trainers, coaches, and designers of inspirational logos for t-shirts, marquees, and other business ventures.


The child and I discussed his future accomplishments – whether one day his signature and logo would be on his updated version of the “Michael Jordan” shoe.


Our city needs more art projects such as silk screening at the West Oakland Public Library, which are available to young artists and well advertised so they can express their inner selves.


If we really want our children to be physically and mentally fit for our future, we need to bring back physical education and art to all California K-12 schools as a state mandatory requirement.


Our young people don’t have to be professional athletes on a field. They also can be in the theater, ballet, ice skating rinks, studios, and behind cameras. Who didn’t love seeing Cinderella for the first time? Our Cinderellas and Cinderfellas of tomorrow can excel in the arts if they have the opportunities during their informative years.


Let’s not lock our youth out of their creativity and potential.


Let’s keep all the children in school and help them achieve what makes them happy. They are our future.


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