As a takeoff: SOLDIER, how do you hit a moving target? A lession from World War II: If you are going to shoot an enemy plane out of the air, AIM AHEAD of the target.
ENTERTAIN this thought: That Time is a moving target. If you are going to solve a today’s problem, you aim at tomorrow.
At A.M. Pate Elementary School, Junichi Lockett, Jr. teaches fourth graders to aim high and shoot for 2017, the year and the day they will hit their target: Graduation from high schools.
When Junichi Lockett, Jr. released “Soldier Mentality” at The Dock Bookshop in a book-signing debut on Saturday, May 30, it drew a crowd mostly of the upward mobile 20-30 crowd, along with teachers, and supporters.
Soldier Mentality is infectious. Even UTA NAACP President, Carla M. Christle, walked away infected with the soldier’s mentality. She hits me and the crowd with a 50-caliber dose of rap-fire reality rap, about what the soldier mentality is all about. She took me to another dimension and another place where education is stingingly entertaining, and leaving a man with bullet-riddle thoughts in the head. Ouch! Carla shoots like a gunner on a mission. Don't get in her way or in her life. She'll blow you away.
I was utterly impressed to the nth and honored to be one of the guest speakers at the roll out of the book, “Soldier Mentality”. It was a launch into a new mode of critical thinking. I was also honored to be dubbed as one of Mr. Lockett’s mentors. Needless to say how proud I am to adopt him as a son and protégé.
I met Junichi Lockett, Jr. when he invited me to speak to a group of students at the University of Texas at Arlington, and talk about the early days of the civil rights movement on this campus. In the year the Old Guard brought Ole Dixie down, we opened the way for organizations like a campus chapter of NAACP. It was Mr. Lockett who connected the dots from his generation back to my generation.
He later graduated from college and went to work in “the trenches”, teaching at the elementary school level for the Fort Worth ISD.
Working in the trenches is something Mr. Lockett knew about. He was also a veteran of the Iraq War, and by right a war hero. He survived, with his mind intact, ready to put his soldier’s survival mentality into action.
SOLDIER, what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?
As a writer and researcher, I challenged everybody in the crowd that appeared infected by the soldier’s mentality with this question. My objective is to provoke the protégé and understudy To Think and Think Critically.
I asked the question of each in the crowd, each one gave me that same hilarious “ding” look in their eyes.
I remember one of Mr. Lockett’s fifth graders attending the ceremony, standing along side her father when I asked her the question.
The “ding look” is when you catch a young person by surprise with a thought-provoking question. The first reaction: The fifth grader’s eyes shot straight toward the ceiling as if a light bulb went off in her head. DING!
She shot back with an answer that caused even her father to laugh and say, “I didn’t know all that was in her.”
I worked the crowd, gathering feedback of this infectious phenomenon known as “Soldier Mentality”.