ALIVE AND FREE! — An Urgent Plea for Help

Afraid to Live But Not Afraid to Die: Whats Happening To Our Young Black Men?

URGENT, we really need your help! 

An 18 year old Black teen was beaten to death for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Over the last 15 years metro Atlanta has witnessed itself evolve as the place to be for Black people; Blacks are on the rise, doing things, owning businesses, living celebrity lifestyles…but on the other hand our commitment, time, and research into the total health and wellness of our people has declined, resulting in the loss of lives.

Our failure to acknowledge and respond to un-naturlal and premature death, like this recent one – due to social and behavioral ills – has opened the flood gates for an epidemic of violence which is sweeping through every urban and rural area, neighborhood and hood around metro Atlanta.

Violence is flooding our city and the victims are drowning rapidly. The rise in the rate of death and destruction (homicide & incarceration) of our children and young adults, and the response of the private and public sectors to this “phenomenon” – constructing more funeral homes and prisons – demands that we give more than just a few minutes or lines in print to look at the violence. It is time that we recognize this infectious virus for what it is and attack it for what it has been doing.
Violence is a disease that has been transmitted throughout metro Atlanta and we can no longer continue to classify these senseless deaths as a condition, situation, or trend; for if we do so, this ill(violence) will continue to spread and wage its war on all people. Are we willing to invest as much or more time in an effort to save these youth as we do in developing the next football/rap star or technological toy? Do we truly value these young peoples lives? If so, we need to show it by our actions. Lip service, is what we’ve been doing and that’s not enough. Life has to become our living reality.

Lives can be saved though. Violence can be curbed. When the public got tired of friends and loved ones dying due to polio and TB, the public got busy. The research scientist worked to find a cure. When the public grew tired of losing loved ones to cancer, the public got busy. The research scientist worked and continue to work to find a cure. As the public continues to get fed up with losing its fellow man, woman, boy and girl to AIDS, the research scientist work tirelessly to find a cure. There’s a public outcry that screams out, “we won’t give up; we will not yield to these diseases, we deserve to live and we will live.” So please help us (ALIVE & FREE MOVEMENT) shout out from the highest mountaintop, “We’re not taking it anymore. These youth deserve to live; they deserve to be free; find a cure for violence, please!!” Perhaps as one considers the stats that follow, you will also consider to help us grow this movement, the ALIVE & FREE MOVEMENT.  Every 5 hours a Black chid is murdered; Every 8 hours a Black child dies from gun violence; If current patterns continues, by the year 2015, 75% of ALL Black youth will be incarcerated; Homicide is the leading cause of death among Black males 15-24; Black males make up 50.6% of the prison population in this nation. For more information call Officer B.W.Griggs  (Ret.) @ 404-889-3008 or visit
 Bruce W. Griggs, CEO/FOUNDER
Operation Correct Start
OCS Youth Ranch,
1396 Pebble Beach Lane
Hampton, Georgia 30228

Phone: 404-889-3008

Very truly yours,Bruce W. Griggs

Afraid to Live But Not Afraid to Die: Whats Happening To Our Young Black Men?
What has changed to make young men, especially young black men, have a lack of concern and a “don’t-care” attitude about their lives. The behaviors young brothers are displaying are not productive and the things they are doing-from fighting and shooting, to not knowing how to use a belt, to making it rain in the strip clubs, to adopting a gang culture makes me ask: Whats going on, are young black men afraid to live more than they are afraid to die? I’m being very serious about this, in a time when it seems like a large number of young black males would rather take the easy way out, not value the importance of education, and think of ALL outcomes in terms of getting paid, but not show ANY desire to work for what they want. I don’t know if it’s a sign of the times or the love of a culture that revels drugs, guns, gangs, and violence and making music about the disrespect of women, putting money over everything, and growing up in unhealthy environment more than the human values of family and self-determination. From the ghetto street fights on YouTube, to videos that put women out there as being nothing more than a piece of meat, a lot of the young brothers want to call this “keeping it real.” They know more about the bullsh*# than that which may help them in their personal growth and development. They can take time to know about T.I. but nothing else of substance. Who’s to blame, the media, the parents, which one has the greatest influence? From hanging in the club to our concern for designer clothes and who’s got the latest AirForce Ones, young black males seem to value a lot more things than their personal or intellectual development in an environment of an excessively sexually degenerate culture . Ours is a problematic state of being, for we lack knowledge of self, which is what causes us to participate in our own self destruction. Maybe that’s why the young brothers can dance and sing and have the bling bling but no books. I might be wrong about the state of ALL young black males, but I will say what I see on a daily basis. Gone are the days of young boys valuing education and wanting to become professionals. This is truly whats happening with many young black men today; not all but thousands are afraid to live but even more are NOT afraid of dying. We can change this by investing in our future – these young men. But we need your help.   Following in the footsteps of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., OCS Street Academy is launching its Alive & Free Movement on August 7, 2010 in honor of one of my role models; my mother, retired educator and community leader, Rubye C. Griggs, on her 91st birthday. Dr. King created an army of civil rights workers who fought injustice with nonviolence. We are building a nationwide network of “Street Soldiers” who will mentor at-risk boys and work to end youth violence through nonviolence – keeping youth alive and free. Join the movement.  Bruce W. GriggsFounder OCS Street Academy &Former WAOK Talk Show Host  Email Bruce W. Griggs at