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Posted By: Edward Joyner on April 29, 2008
Sadly, the quest to save African American males begins in the home with the school, church, and other community organizations that have a special focus on reclaiming Back males playing various roles based on the specific influences that they have in the lives of the specific males they serve. Despite absentee fathers, the Black males that succeed bond and attach to male authority figures that embrace values associated with successful navigation through the minefield that characterizes too many poor urban communities. I have seen them also attach to females (who they regard as mother figures) and succeed. These young men are usually strong enough to reject the counterproductive behavior of many of their peers and they get involved in gainful pursuits in school and the community that take them away from the gang banging and street corner slinging that claims their peers.
So we see that the structural response is to create organizations and clubs that engage these young men as early as possible, a commitment from their families to allow other people to help them, and a response on their part to match the commitment of the individual or group that offers such help. I have seen leadership to this effect by superintendents (John Dow Jr, and Lester Young Jr in New Haven and Brooklyn respectfully) and Edison Jackson (President of Medgar Evers in Brooklyn). Also David Banks, the Principal of the Eagle Academy in New York has done remarkable work with males. I have not seen the level of involvement from the churches. Perhaps it is forthcoming.
Edward Joyner
former Director of the School Development Program at the Yale Child Study Center.
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 Enjoyed the article. by Stacy Brown on April 25, 2008
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