Archive for Black Boys

EVERY YOUNG, BLACK MALE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Men, Book Reviews and More, Women's Interests with tags , , , , on April 22, 2014 by Black Man

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Martinsville, Virginia—Hey Luv Project announces the release of Young, Black Males: America’s Most Wanted (April 1, 2014, ISBN: 978-0-578-13580-9, Hey Luv Project) by Wendy Kellam.  

Every Black teenager should read Young, Black Males: America’s Most Wanted, so they can feel Kellam’s passion, her true love—not just for her sons and her immediate family—for her entire community and the entire Black race. Most importantly, she wants all young, Black males to recognize and understand their worth!

“Pull your pants up!” is one of many solutions Kellam offers in her powerful, thought-provoking book that comes straight from the heart and written with so much passion and sincerity. Kellam emphasizes the importance of good parenting, the foundation and stepping stone to raising good, productive children. As a single mom, raising three, Black males, she knows the importance of being a good parent, putting your children first, and providing good homes and good morals.

“The stats speak loud and clear,” Kellam states in her book, when she points out that 60% of Black males either drop out of school or go to jail. She also stated that 1 and 3 Black men will have a record in his lifetime. Black males are six times more likely to go to jail than white males. Black male achievement begins to decline as early as the fourth grade, and by the fourth grade, only 12% of Black male students read at or above grade level. By eighth grade, the numbers fall to 9% for Black males. An epidemic that needs to cease, Young, Black Males: America’s Most Wanted should be the handbook for parents, teachers, and mentors and for those who have an immediate impact on the lives of our young, Black males.

Author Wendy Kellam is a native of Martinsville, Virginia. She is employed with Technique Solutions, an IT company. She is the Director of Trudie Reads, a reading program designed to help kids learn to read, as well as instill a love for reading. She is a mentor of the Pretty Girls Rock’s Martinsville Chapter. She is the founder of Hey Luv Project, a group of community partners telling stories to inform, empower and educate. She is a community advocate for her race, an advocate for women, a huge advocate for the youth and an advocate for human rights. She is a daughter, sister and cousin. She is a mother, a grandmother and Messiah has made being a grandmother, oh so grand. She is a friend to few, but cool with many. She rocks to her own beat. I am she and she is me.
Wendy Kellam is available for book signings and speaking engagements. To schedule Wendy for your next event, please email heyluvproject@gmail.com.

Young, Black Males: America’s Most Wanted by Wendy Kellam will be available in Trade paperback on April 1, 2014 everywhere. Currently available for download on Amazon Kindle. For more information contact Sadie-Katie at 276-224-4696.

10 Things All Young Black Men Should Know

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , , , on February 12, 2014 by Black Man

Morehouse

By The Black Star Project

1)     Know that you are a young Black man in America and that means you are different than other Americans.  While you can still realize your dreams, you might have to take a different path.  You will have to be more careful, more thoughtful and more aware than others to survive in America.

2)      Value education, learning and reading.  The more and better you can read for understanding, the freer and more powerful you will become.

3)      Work hard.  Many times, it is not what you know that makes you successful, but instead consistency, persistence, effort and dedication.  Be sure to just “show up”.

4)      Respect women and girls.  They hold up half the sky in our communities.  Together we can accomplish great things in our families and communities.

5)      Believe in something higher than yourself.  Whether its religious, spiritual or philosophical, connect with and explore the larger universe and eternity.

6)      Emulate strong, positive, intelligent Black men.  Use them as your mentors and role models.

7)      Be a leader!  Exhibit courage, wisdom, vision and good decision-making skills to help your community improve.  You are a natural leader.  Others will follow your positive and righteous actions.

8)      Respect and work with other young Black men to accomplish great things for your community.  Teams of young Black men can accomplish what individuals cannot.

9)      Study your history and culture.  You are not alone, ever.

10)    Choose positive peers, associates and friends.  Those relationships will help determine your path in life.

Black Star Project

As the Executive Director of The Black Star Project, Phillip Jackson has become a national leader advocating for community involvement in education and the importance of parental development to ensure that children are properly educated. The Black Star Project has served close to 100,000 students in over 175 schools since 1996 in its Student Motivation Program and between 3,000 to 4,000 parents in its parent outreach programs since 2004. This year, Phillip Jackson and The Black Star Project lead the nation back to school with the hugely successful Million Father March 2005. This second annual back-to-school march encouraged men to take children to school on the first day, marking a commitment to a year of positive male involvement in education. Marches took place at schools in 82 cities around the country and even in Auckland, New Zealand.

HOW TO DESTROY–A BLACK BOY

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Ramey Commentaries with tags , on September 1, 2013 by Black Man

Ramey

By Mike Ramey

If you kill him in the womb, you won’t have to bother at all.

But, bring him into the world to do the ‘real’ job;

Put him in braids and pigtails by two or three;

IF not married Teach him nothing about Mama’s or Daddy’s lack of sexual responsibility,

IF divorced Tell him his Daddy ain’t nothing (cause Mama will NOT allow him around)–for “You can get your Child Support girl”; Let the courts keep Daddy away, while Mama lies…and ‘hangs’ with her friends and blames…

THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

If the TV commercials, iPods and iPhones, don’t warp his brain;

Fear not, for some…Mama and Boyfriend are seldom at home; let ESPN raise him!

By third or fourth grade, the system has it made–off him in the shade,

Pumping him full of Ritalin: ADHD, Bipolar, ‘crazy checks’ and mental slavery;

Misteach him about his worth–rewrite Black history: and the ‘superiority’ myth of Black girls…while Pastors are too busy planning ‘yet’ another ‘church’ holiday, doing nothing for Fathers to come home…THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

Of course…You can and do keep him from church or Bible, Jesus Christ is a ‘white man’s’ tool…don’t need it; Tell him about JW’s, Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, TM and Yoga! Don’t teach him about right and wrong, or the cop on the beat;

When he’s hauled to juvenile, let him frown and ‘mean mug’; look down and blame

To your guilt…someone else? The social worker, the cop, the court…never you?

Oprah, 50, your soros or fraternity…or the Lodge, your boat trips?

THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

The preacher can preach, but can’t teach…what Mama and/or Daddy

Should have done at home, by getting married FIRST and cohabiting fast;

But now the committal is past, the shovel of dirt is the last.

Face down in the street…drugs and gun in hand.

And on the East side of town…another male child is born.

The cycle starts again…full of worldliness and sin…instead of joy;

Much to the Devil’s grin.

THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

AND…look how successful ‘the plan’ has worked!

–©Mike Ramey

Labor Day Weekend, 2013

 

Study: By Kindergarten 1 in 4 Black Boys Believes He Will Fail in School

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists with tags , , , , on December 6, 2012 by Black Man

The statistics as they relate to black boys aren’t yet on par with excellence, but what seems most troubling now isn’t the circumstance which impact black boys, but what these boys believe about themselves.

A new report says, due to poverty and childhood trauma,  by kindergarten, 1 in 4 black boys believes he will fail in school. This sets the stage for a self-fulfilling prophecy, which includes high drop out rates and low test scores, according to a California  Assembly inquiry on the status of boys and men of color

The study also found that boys are increasingly adding to the economic budget crisis in California. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the conclusions were reached based on several community hearings, expert testimony and the input of hundreds of other stakeholders over 18 months.

The final report, set to be issued this week, will include a series of recommendations on how to address these issues.

Click here to read the entire article courtesy Your Black World Today.

How to Talk to Black Boys About Trayvon Martin: Eight Talking Points About The Potentially Fatal Condition of Being Black

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Trayvon Martin with tags , , , on March 25, 2012 by Black Man

By: Touré

In his Time Magazine column, writer Touré outlines eight talking points to handle what he calls “the potentially fatal condition of being black.”  Touré is the author of four books, including Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to Be Black Now

1. It’s unlikely but possible that you could get killed today. Or any day. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. Black maleness is a potentially fatal condition. I tell you that not to scare you but because knowing that could save your life. There are people who will look at you and see a villain or a criminal or something fearsome. It’s possible they may act on their prejudice and insecurity. Being black could turn an ordinary situation into a life-or-death moment even if you’re doing nothing wrong.

2. If you encounter such a situation, you need to play it cool. Keep your wits about you. Don’t worry about winning the situation. Your mission is to survive.

Click on this link to read more.

One Dropout Every 26 Seconds Is A Ticking Time Bomb for Blacks

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men with tags , , , on April 11, 2011 by Black Man

A whopping 40 percent of African-American students don’t graduate from high school. These dismal statistics are creating an underclass of African-Americans who have become unemployable, while also affecting the very fibers of the black family structure.

By Lawrence C. Ross (04/06/2011)

Between the trials and tribulations of the controversial No Child Left Behind law, the growing issue of bullying in schools, and the feeling that parents, teachers and administrators are all searching for a magic solution to the problem that is the American educational system, here comes more bad news.

Recently, President Barack Obama’s education secretary Arne Duncan stated that every 26 seconds, a student drops out of high school. But things are even worse for black students; a whopping 40 percent of African-American students don’t graduate from high school. These dismal statistics are creating an underclass of African-Americans who have become unemployable, while also affecting the very fibers of the black family structure.

Marc Williams, a high school music theory teacher at Cesar Chavez Charter School in Washington DC, also works with the school’s retention program. He sees a number of different causes for black students not finishing high school.

“Our (African-American) students are dropping out of school for a number of reasons. Aside from the cookie-cutter answers that most folks give that speak to the lack of support from within the household, the fact that many of our students don’t have a ‘set’ of parents, and the obvious idea that many urban schools lack the fiscal resources that other schools have, there are some other things to consider here,” Williams said.

“We, as educators, are failing our students,” he added. “Independent and charter schools (in particular), in order to meet budgets, are spending less money for newer, inexperienced teachers that come fresh off the stage of graduation and into a situation that is a culture shock for them… It’s a set up for failure.”

When you dig deeper, you find that black boys in particular are in a crisis mode. According to the Massachusetts-based Schott Foundation on Public Education, more than half — 53 percent — of black male students drop out of high school without a diploma, compared to 22 percent of white males.

And the problem even extends to elementary school, in one of the best charter school programs in the country. A new study by researchers at Western Michigan reports that 40 percent of 6th to 8th grade black boys in the Knowledge Is Power Program charter schools (KIPP) drop out before completing the program.

It is already tough for high school graduates to compete economically with college graduates, with college graduates earning around $297,893 dollars more than a high school graduate during a lifetime. But without a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED), a student basically condemns themselves to underclass status. Individuals without a GED or high school diploma loses about $7,000 dollars per year in comparison to someone with a GED.

And in a modern military, where the ability to understand high tech systems is a premium, dropping out of high school and getting into the military is proving to be an obstacle. Even those with high school degrees are finding it difficult. Thirty nine percent of black applicants with a high school degree are rejected by the military. And those who do make it in are coming into the military with lower scores than white applicants, therefore putting them at a disadvantage when it comes to future advancement.

The real societal cost of a high drop out rate at the high school level is that it attacks the structure of the black family. Black high school drop outs feed a growing black underclass of economically disadvantaged families, making it more difficult to break the cycle of poverty. The state of New York is finding that having a GED helps prevent homelessness, and has created Back to School program in order to get individuals to complete their GED.

But the effects are also found in the college ranks. With black boys struggling to finish high school and go to college, some college systems are finding that when they exclude for college athletes, black male students are a scare commodity. In South Carolina, for example, only 3 percent of the student body at the University of South Carolina, Clemson and the College of Charleston, are black male students. This means that there’s a infinitesimal pool of eligible college educated black women looking for a relationships with men with similar educational backgrounds.

The high school drop out epidemic among African-Americans is not a ticking time bomb, it’s a tsunami that’s swamping the future of black America. State Farm Insurance is working with America’s Promise, the educational organization founded by former Secretary of State General Colin Powell, to fight high school drop outs through a new program called 26 seconds. But unless there are major changes to the current educational trends, look for the nation’s prisons to continue to be repositories for the black students left behind, as they grow more desperate to survive without educational skills.

Phillip Jackson is the Founder and Executive Director of The Black Star Project, based in Chicago.  Its mission is to improve the quality of life in black and Latino communities of Chicago and nationwide by eliminating the racial academic achievement gap.  You can e-mail Mr. Jackson at blackstar1000@ameritech.net.

Raising Him Alone: An Interview with David Miller

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Feature Interviews with tags , , , , on September 26, 2010 by Black Man

By Vanessa Werts

Across America, in the inner-city and in suburbia, single mothers struggle with raising boys alone. This issue has clearly emerged as one of the most consequential trends facing society today. And David Miller, co-author of the book, Raising Him Alone, is on a personal mission, standing watch, doing his part to support single mothers – Black single mothers in particular – and the positive development of Black males.

During my interview with Miller at the 2010 National Congressional Black Caucus Book Pavilion, his passion was contagious. Miller’s vision is for the well being of everyone involved in the struggle from the son to the mother or caregiver to the absent-father alike. Therefore, it is only natural that he would be co-founder of the Raising Him Alone Campaign, a national movement that executes the foundational principles he and co-author Matthew P. Stevens address in their book [Raising Him Alone].

Single mother parenting was long thought to be primarily an African-American problem, stemming from poverty and poor education. However over the last decade, it has become an epidemic crossing both racial and class lines. “We started the campaign to really focus on Black and Latina moms,” says Miller. “But we get a tremendous amount of calls from White mothers. The issue is beyond an epidemic.”

Miller shared with me insights about the book, the campaign, and the community activities and resources dedicated to inspire and inform the millions of single mothers who struggle daily with the challenges of raising boys.

The David Miller Interview

BMIA: What is the Raising Him Alone campaign about?

D. Miller: The campaign is a movement to provide greater access to resources for single mothers and grandmothers throughout this country.

BMIA: Where does your passion for this movement or your connection to this issue come from?

D. Miller: When I was a freshman in college, my best friend was shot and killed standing next to me and I was 19-years-old. I was at Morgan, he was at Morehouse; some guys tried to rob us…they shot my friend in the back and he died in my arms. And since then I’ve dedicated my life to really improving the lives of children and families in this country. And so, I’m real clear that we’ve got to do this work in our communities, or else we’re not going to make it.

BMIA: When does the campaign kick-off?

D. Miller: The campaign kicked-off in January 2009. We did a major launch in two cities: Baltimore and Newark, New Jersey. I invited some dynamic mothers who’ve raised sons to come and help me kick it off. Common’s [rapper, actor] mother, Dr. Mahalia Hines; Mos Def’s [rapper, actor] mother, Sheron Smith; and Talib Kweli’s [rapper, activist] mother, Dr. Brenda Greene. I brought them on-board to help me launch the two cities, and now we’ve expanded to Chicago and Philadelphia. These are our four main cities. But we’re working in communities across this country really doing some very interesting viable Web-based things like using Facebook to create discussion groups with moms. We’re creating a tremendous movement around serious parenting.

BMIA: What has been the response to campaign?

D. Miller: The response has been absolutely overwhelming. We average about forty phone calls and E-mails a week from mothers who are in some of the roughest parts of say, maybe Memphis, DC, or Newark, New Jersey, to moms that have MBA degrees, PhD degrees from excellent colleges and universities, who got divorced and for whatever reason, dad hasn’t stepped up. And so it’s been an amazing cross-section of parents from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

BMIA: Have you in any way included fathers in the campaign?

D. Miller: Yes. Historically, my background is I’ve written two other books about responsible fatherhood. And so, year one was really to launch the campaign and raise money. Year two has really been focused on launching the largest responsible fatherhood Web site you’ll find in this country which we’re gonna try to connect it with President Obama’s Responsible Fatherhood Initiative. I was in Washington three weeks ago speaking to all of the federal grantees that received responsible fatherhood money. The Web site is going to be for any dad: married dads, divorced dads, military; dads that are incarcerated, to really talk about what does it mean to be an exceptional father. And so dads are an integral part of the campaign.

BMIA: What type of information can single mothers expect from the book, Raising Him Alone?

D. Miller: In the book, we kind of roll out a blueprint of how to raise a son, as well as things like mentoring. Susan Taylor has a national initiative; Michael Baisden has a national initiative on mentoring. The reality is in all those initiatives, we’ve not gotten enough black and brown men to sign up and honor their commitment. So one of the things we talk about is, while we’re trying to find a mentor for the boy, there’s things mom has to do in the home. For example, number one is the boy can never be the man of the house. That’s a mistake that I think mothers make, particularly as boys get to adolescence. Moms say you’re the man of the house because your father is not here.  And what happens with a lot of boys is they think because dad’s not here I need to step up and bring money in. So a lot of boys will start steeling cars, selling drugs… You start to see a lot of pathologies exist because mom has told this 13-year-old that he’s man of the house. So a lot of what we’re trying to do is really work with community-based organizations and work with schools. We’ve created an awesome learning community so mothers can go to our Web site, sign up and they can receive free text messages, free voicemail message about being a good parent…about financial literacy tips. We send out an e-mail blast that goes out to about 11,000 mothers and grandmothers across the country. We’ve created a Facebook group, Single Mothers Raising Boys, with over 1,000 mothers connected to that. The goal is also connecting mothers to resources, things like mental health; things like credit repair; a lot of stuff on co-parenting. I mean when you look at the divorce rates in our community, we’re in trouble. We’re in serious trouble.

BMIA: Have you had any testimonials on the impact of the work you’re doing?

D. Miller: We’ve had some amazing testimonials. I’ll start with Ms. Mildred, a 74-year-old great-grandmother living in the projects in the West Ward in Newark, raising five boys by herself… hypertension and diabetes. When we went to go interview Ms Mildred, we were able to stop her from getting evicted from her apartment. We were able to connect her to free mental health services for both herself and for those boys. Even though the boys are all under 12-years-old, you started to really see some behavioral challenges with those boys. We can document many of the families that we’ve reached as well as the dads that we’ve reached. And that’s one of the reasons why we decided to create the fatherhood Web site. We met a brother in Michigan whose children lived in Atlanta, Georgia and we were able to re-connect him with his children. Because he was a long distance dad, we were able to work with him and work with the mom to develop some strategies. One of the first things we did was recommend that the dad buy a cell phone and mail it to the boy so the boy could call his dad. But we had to go through the mom to help her work through her own issues because they didn’t get married to say, this is something that can happen. And so, even being able to work through something as simple as communication with the father and son is another example.

The Raising Him Alone Campaign seeks to create a larger community dialogue around the importance of supporting single mothers raising boys. Through partnerships with a host of organizations, they are mobilizing single mothers and absent-fathers to save our future, particularly our boys.

The siren is blaring. The call to engage the issues in raising healthy, positive boys demands our attention. What price will society ultimately play if this trend continues? The clock is ticking.

To learn more about Raising Him Alone, the book, and the work co-founders, David Miller and Matthew P. Stevens are doing with the Raising Him Alone Campaign, visit www.RaisingHimAlone.com.


BMIA.com Reporter Vanessa Werts and David Miller

David C. Miller, M.Ed. is the co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of the Urban Leadership Institute, LLC, (www.urbanyouth.org) a social enterprise that focuses on developing positive youth development strategies. ULI provides strategic planning, professional development, positive youth development concepts and crisis management services.

Thank you Lee McDonald from The Renaissance Group (TRG) for making this interview possible.

Why He Hates You

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Women's Interests with tags , , on December 4, 2009 by Black Man


By Janks Morton

THE BOOK THAT WILL FOREVER CHANGE THE CONVERSATION IN BLACK AMERICA!

Brother Janks is a rare mix of thinker and doer! His commitment to showing us, to us, to improve us inspires me.

Dr. Steve Perry: CNN Educational Contributor

I can already hear the shackles falling from those who are already bound and those (shackles) set up for the next generation.

Dr. Melva Green: Motivational Speaker, Radio Personality and Psychotherapist

If we as a people want to be what we were created to be, Why He Hates You reminds us that hurt, anger and pain is just as hereditary as those beautiful eyes that somehow skipped four generations, and landed in you.

Kym Hampton: Former WNBA All-Star

I believe wholeheartedly that if we are going to save the next generation of young, black men; Why He Hates You must serve as a guidepost and a roadmap

Ingrid Shanklin: Pastor New Life Fellowship International

Why He Hates You is a book about us, for us and by one of us; written with brutal and unvarnished honesty in the plain talk of the people, in language that is intense, humorous and tender.

Kelly Alexander: Journalist

After reading Why He Hates You, I had to apologize to my 12-year-old son!  I apologized for the screaming, fussing, badgering, hitting and constant anger he experienced with me on almost a daily basis…Thank you Janks Morton for saving my Son from Me!

Gloria Howard: Mother

Janks Morton challenges mothers in a way that is raw, unnerving and honest.  I was uncomfortable reading this book because I could relate to portions of it.  This book is not about blame, it is about change.

Gary Johnson: Founder-Black Men In America.com

www.WhyHeHatesYou.com

EXCERPT FROM WHY HE HATES YOU

I began to realize that this young man gripped by the pain of his own anger and hobbled by his resentments, marginalized and noosed by his own fears, was no longer an obtuse case study for dissection. This mass of damaged goods that was the subject of his dissertation was indeed me.

“You need to talk with your mother,” he explained in a subtle yet firmly directive voice. The intensity of his focus was so penetrating; I had only one option remaining to temper the impending lacerations of what was sure to be the most adversarial moment of my life, a candid conversation with my mother. With this impending confrontational crisis looming and the loathing discomfort I was feeling by the dissections of this man of faith, I had to come up for air. I had to do something! It was time to deflect, change the subject or at least change lanes because I wasn’t ready to drive in the fast lane.

At the first available opportune moment, I interjected. “Reverend,” hoping to derail and diffuse the sting of his insights, “While, I agree with you and your assessment of my situation, the approach you are recommending…well…it may be just a bit too abrasive. Would it be better if I started the conversation with, “Momma, I love you, BUT there’s something we need to talk about?”

With a slight exhale, his eyes turned downward, not with a look of contempt or disgust, but more that of a fatherly disappointment. He spoke abruptly, foiling my scheme to maneuver away from a potentially hostile maternal confrontation. He spoke ten simple words that still rattle me to this day. “You do not love her, and that’s a coward’s way.” In my mind I thought, did this man of faith just call me a coward? I paused and took a step back to assess his remarks before getting ready for an all out verbal assault.


JANKS MORTON is a groundbreaking international and award winning documentarian. As founder of iYAGO ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, LLC, he states “the company came into existence to reflect both the conscious and unconscious soul of Black America. JANKS MORTON has been in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years and is a much sought-after teacher, lecturer, commentator and motivational speaker. He has convened workshops, seminars and served as panelist and keynote speaker at colleges, universities, prisons, conferences, churches and community centers around the world.

The Death Sentence

Posted in Black America, Black Men with tags , , on February 11, 2009 by Black Man

west-coverwinship-cover

The “Death Sentence” by Onyeocha

Suppose we decided that one of the best things “we” could do for Black America was to make sure that henceforth no African-American boy or young man would ever again hear “Black men ain’t $#!†.”

Here’s what a group of men from the Baltimore and Washington, DC metropolitan areas are doing. 

Check out Men To Boys.com.

What can YOU do to make a difference?  Share your advice.

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