To all those mothers and fathers who are struggling with teen-agers, I say, just be patient: even though it looks like you can't do anything right for a number of years, parents become popular again when kids reach 20.
I worry about the kids who have too much. As a parent living in a so-called good neighborhood with children who went to private high school, I found myself spending much time in parent groups worrying about alcohol, unsupervised parties, and parents not being parents.
Hunger and malnutrition have devastating consequences for children and have been linked to low birth weight and birth defects, obesity, mental and physical health problems, and poorer educational outcomes.
Together we can and must fight for justice for our children and protect them from draconian tax cuts and budget choices that threaten their survival, education and preparation for the future. If they are not ready for tomorrow, neither is America.
When President Kennedy was elected, many black Americans, like so many Americans, were captivated by his youth and energy and promise and were especially hopeful that he might move the country in a new direction on civil rights.
The Declaration of Independence was always our vision of who we wanted to be, our ideal of freedom and justice, how we were going to be different, and what the American experiment was going to be about.
I feel very lucky to have grown up having interaction with adults who were making change but who were far from perfect beings. That feeling of not being paralyzed by your incredible inadequacy as a human being, which I feel every day, is a part of the legacy that I've gotten from so many of the adult elders.
The legacies that parents and church and teachers left to my generation of Black children were priceless but not material: a living faith reflected in daily service, the discipline of hard work and stick-to-itiveness, and a capacity to struggle in the face of adversity.
If we think we have ours and don't owe any time or money or effort to help those left behind, then we are a part of the problem rather than the solution to the fraying social fabric that threatens all Americans.
I grew up in a very religious family and it is the motivating force to every thing I do. I am fortunate to have had adults all around me who really lived their faith, in helping other people and doing the best you can do.
What's wrong with our children? Adults telling children to be honest while lying and cheating. Adults telling children to not be violent while marketing and glorifying violence... I believe that adult hypocrisy is the biggest problem children face in America.
Children must have at least one person who believes in them. It could be a counselor, a teacher, a preacher, a friend. It could be you. You never know when a little love, a little support will plant a small seed of hope.
It was very clear to me in 1965, in Mississippi, that, as a lawyer, I could get people into schools, desegregate the schools, but if they were kicked off the plantations - and if they didn't have food, didn't have jobs, didn't have health care, didn't have the means to exercise those civil rights, we were not going to have success.
If we think we have ours and don't owe any time or money or effort to help those left behind, then we are a part of the problem rather than the solution to the fraying social fabric that threatens all Americans
God, please help us remember that all the darkness in the world cannot snuff out the light of one little candle. Help us to keep lighting our little candles until a mighty torch of justice sweeps our nation and the world.