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Mentor a Black Boy, His Life Depends On It
We know African-American male students face huge obstacles to achievement in the U.S. but we need solutions now! In “The Key to Black Male Academic Success: Mentorship” the power of mentorship, along with countless research studies say mentorship helps to improve African-American male academic achievement. Hands down. In this aforementioned article, the idea was advanced to have every successful black man in every community to mentor at least one black male student. Many African-American boys throughout the nation do not have the presence of African-American men in their homes, and they lack successful African-American men being actively involved in their lives to provide them with critical guidance and support.
Although black boys across the country can see and read about successful black men in history and postmodern media, many black boys view the success of those men as something unattainable, considering they don’t have the opportunity to witness black male success up close and personal. In The Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant refers to examples as being the “go-carts of judgment.” If one has poor examples, then he will make poor judgments and if one has good examples, he will make good judgments.
Black boys across the country need a successful black man energetically engaged in their lives to help them make wise judgments.
Although the mainstream media will attempt to portray black boys as “problems,” successful black men have the power to work toward shattering the false depictions of black boys by being the real solutions those who lack mentors need. Let’s change the dominant narrative about African-American males to one of hope and achievement. Successful black men must make a personal commitment to becoming mentors of black boys who don’t have mentors. Your involvement in the life of a black boy can mean the difference between him evolving into a high achieving scholar or a drug dealer. As African-Americans, we first have to do all we can within our own community before we ask members of other communities for help with making a difference in the lives of our black boys.
You may not feel capable of assisting an African-American boy with his homework. Don’t let this stop you from choosing to mentor a black boy. If you cannot help him with his homework, find someone for him who can. You can encourage a black boy to make good decisions, find out what problems he has, and offer him guidance about how to remedy those problems.
If you’re not already mentoring a black boy, find one today and begin mentoring him. Opportunities exist within 100 Black Men, National Urban League, and the Steve Harvey Foundation to name a few. Also contact your local place of worship, community center, or even school district. Inspire other African-American men you know to mentor a black boy. Next, work together with black men to expand the number of black men in your community who mentor and network to share experiences, ideas, and etc. with one another to maximize the impact of your efforts.
Let’s save our black boys from the chains of hopelessness and replace those chains with hopefulness.
Mr. Antonio Maurice Daniels is a Research Associate in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA) obtaining his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also blogs at Revolutionary Paideia.
*Photo above taken from Urban Prep Academy.