A 90-minute production written and directed by Earl Baldwin titled “If You Must Shoot, Shoot Me, but Leave My Brother Alone” has a compelling message for young people.
This production portrays the choices, chances and consequences of unchecked anger, bullying and unhealthy life-choices.
|MESSENGERS—Evangelist Beverly Broadus-Green, Debra Germany and Pastor Monet Beverly.
“This play was for therapy and I had to get it out to help others in the community,” Baldwin said. “The devil is not playing out here and we can’t keep going through the same motions with these light-hearted attitudes. Unless you show folks what’s really going on in the streets and on these blocks, you will never experience change within our community. I was so hurt and my anger was so misplaced that I wanted to turn my life around. I went from one juvenile system to another and my home life was not good. Things were better for me in the juvenile system than they were at home because I didn’t have to go through the abuse. I would rather be in the system than stay at home because it was tore up. I learned more about street life from being locked-up but they were the wrong morals and values. When I became an adult, the only way to live for me was a life of crime. I would go back and forth to jail because I never dealt with the issues that were lying dormant within me and that included a drug addiction as well. I gave up a whole lot of things for the life of crime including my first marriage.”
The cast of the play were several young men and women who spent time in prison, but now are saved and on fire for God, successful business owners, and returning to our youth with a message of wisdom through reflections that says it takes a whole village to raise a child, and a community that prays together will stay together. The challenge was for the community to embrace this event and join the family of restoration and hope for the improvement of our community.
The play, which Baldwin partner with Debra Germany of Divine Intervention Ministries Impact (Interceding Making Positive Actions Come Together) Program to bring to the public, has been performed in prisons, churches and other venues. It was recently performed at Ebenezer Baptist Church in the Hill District with Evangelist Beverly Broadus-Green as the keynote speaker, who is also the mother of rapper Snoop Dogg.
As the special guest speaker, Evangelist Broadus-Green, a nationally known motivational speaker, shared her powerful testimony of raising three sons to survive in an intense urban environment.
“I am the mother of Snoop Dogg,” said Broadus-Green. “If you’re going to shoot, shoot me, but don’t shoot my sons because I love them very much. I’ve been all over the country speaking to the youth about stopping the violence. I want everyone to know that God is not too big or too small and he is wherever you want him to be. People struggle in life because they choose to struggle. We have so many churches all over the world that people can attend, so there is no excuse. The mothers, fathers, pastors and schools all have to come together to put a stop to the violence in the streets. These are our children that are killing each other and it needs to stop.”
“Kids are saying things like, ‘This is my corner and you need to leave.’ When I hear things like that, I wonder how can they say these things because they are only 20 years old and they don’t own anything. We have allowed our children to take over and now it’s time for the churches, City Hall and everyone to come together to talk about solutions.
Since the children aren’t coming to the community meetings, we need to go to them.
These kids today think they are so high and mighty because they are wrapped up in what they’re doing. If you talk one on one to a child and figure where their head is at, something positive will come out of that conversation. I want everyone to know that God loves them no matter. Some people think because they’ve done so much wrong that God won’t help them. All you have to do is come to him and he will set you free. A lot of grown-ups need to bring their kids to church because the church is like a hospital. The same people are coming to church every Sunday and if that’s the case, the sick people are not getting the help they need. We don’t trust each other and there is too much hatred. If I have a little more than you do, then you need to thank God that I have something.”
After a 12 year stretch in jail, Baldwin started to listen to God and He revealed to Baldwin that he did not have to live that way any longer. The death of his brother also played a factor in his rededication to living right. Today his spirit is stronger than his flesh and that is how he said he lives his life now.
“I remember that whatever the enemy has for evil, God turns it for good. The sacrifice that Debra Germany has made by losing her son and bringing together such an awesome ministry is a powerful thing. The only Christ that people will see is us and if Debra keeps doing what she is doing, I believe that people will be drawn by her ministry that God has called her to do,” said Beverly.