While everyone is raving over “Black Lives Matter” being painted on street blocks, I would have to surmise that we, as a people are stuck in a frenzy of symbol over substance.

The Trenton Anti-Violence Coalition is on a mission to speak directly into the heart of the ‘hood’ with a more specific messaging platform. Instead of a blanketed and somewhat pleading message such as ‘Black Lives Matter’––our (painted messaging) approach will be centered around, and bring to life, ancestral quotes that capture the spirit of ‘The Movement’ from the past to the present and definitely into the future:

1) Black Power Over Everything

2) All Power To The People

3) Knowledge Of Self––To Better Yourself

4) Wake Up––Clean Up––Stand Up

5) By Any Means Necessary

6) Love Yourself Black Woman

7) Respect Yourself Black Man

8 ) Each One––Teach One 

9) Educate To Elevate

10) Stop The Killing––Start Some Healing

These quotes will be painted in/on hot spots and blocks throughout the city right where young people are.

Over the next few weeks/months we will be in the streets calling for an end to the conflicts that (have) led to senseless violence among the youth. In the city of Trenton, we understand that we have to take control of a long-standing ‘Black-on-Black crime’ narrative which has propagandized the public and turned them against the youth in the community.

Many of the youth are simply followers, looking for direction and leadership––a voided space where those in positions of influence have failed to fill.              

Our objective is to re-direct the misguided energy that many of the young people have and fashion it into a solid base of cultural, political, and revolutionary consciousness.

This will include numerous initiatives that are all driven from a Black/Afrikan-centered perspective.

Divine Allah, activist, member of the Trenton Anti-Violence Coalition.