By Brandon Johnson – Contributing Writer
Photos by Aaron Hall
On an empty parking lot, on the corner of 47th and Ocean View, a group of concerned men, women and youth, gathered in the spirit of unity and empowerment to “Clean up the Southeast.” Organized by Mentu Ra Neter through his organization, “Rebuilding the Black Mind”, the gathering was an opportunity to not only clean up the streets, sidewalks and alleyways, littered with trash, but to fellowship with one another, share ideas and connect with like-minded individuals. This also served as physical and visual presence of positivity to the people who reside in the neighborhoods we call home, at a time when many people would rather be no more than Facebook and Twitter revolutionaries.
“Rebuilding the Black Mind (#RBM) is basically a solution tank full of people with ideas and plans that are working towards creating a value system for our people, so we can become a collective entity of greatness within our communities nationwide, providing academic awareness along with the opportunities like our obtaining information about economic power, science, historical facts about our people, and other academics also finding ways to view morality on the same scope, so we can rebuild the black mind, then family, then community,” shared Mentu. This was the first “trial” run of many more cleanups come, and what a success it was. It showed that the residents of this community, along with rebelling and protesting, are also willing to put our feet to the pavement and lend a hand in the growth improvement of that community.
“Basically we want to create alternatives and opportunities for our people to help reshape the nature of our environment by becoming an actual community not just people who all live in the same area or not,” Mentucontinues. “So the community clean-up we are doing twice a month is to recondition not only the environment, but the atmosphere within our community, to show unity and sharing the same values and principles when it comes to community dignity.”
In sharing his thoughts on the turn out, Mentu was pleasantly surprised at the amount of people willing to commit their time “The turnout was actually not expected. I figured only a few would show up, but I guess this atmosphere is a good time to do things like this, or people are slowly waking up to what must be done.” As of now the clean-ups will be held every 1st and 4th weekend at different locations throughout Southeast San Diego. In addition, the organization has many more things in the works including agriculture workshops and events to further education and empower unify and strengthen the black community.