Omar Sykes: Rest in Peace

I heard the unfortunate news about this young man last week.  Omar Sykes was a 22 year old senior at Howard University.  It was recounted in the brief biography of his life that he was a leader of Alpha Phi Omega and a founding member of the Noble Black Society.  His friends recalled him as outgoing and ready to greet them with a hug and smile.  I feel sorry for his Family.  Instead of preparing for the next stage of his life, they are preparing to bury him.

The neighborhood around Howard University is changing.  There was no diversity there when I was a student in the early 1980's.  I see young non-minority couples walking dogs there.  I see outdoor cafes on Rhode Island Avenue.  Progress should mean some improvement in the quality of life I thought.  I never subscribed to the thought of calling people in the immediate vicinity of Howard University 'block boys'.  I would have been called that if Howard was in South Philly.  It is still a dangerous neighborhood for today's Howard students though.  Assaults and robberies are occurring regularly.
My daughter Alonna is a student there and I pray for her safety.

To the family of Omar Sykes, I pray for you as you try to recover from your loss.  I pray for the perpetrator od this gun violence.  Whatever material gain you derived from this robbery gone awry was not worth this man's life.  I pray for the friends of Omar as they try to move on with their lives.  I am sorry for the family that you never got to lead and the children you never had.  you truly had the look of a Leader.  Rest in Peace my Brother. 

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