Paul Mondesire writes for The Loop blog and recently posted about how one School tackles the young black boys crisis.
Mondesire writes, "One of the most powerful and destructive misconceptions about people of color in this country is that our men don’t care about the next generation. There is always talk in the news and in our communities about the plight of young males of color and the crisis they face growing up in the United States of America."
While I am not a young, black male, I can certainly identify with Paul’s concern. This might be little off topic but along the same lines. I remember during my early days in news when I would be the first one to get to work and the last one to leave, a few colleagues were awed by my work ethic, and proceeded to inquire about my parents of all things. They would say things like, "You were born here in America?" Or, "Your dad taught you that?"
It was as though they were shocked that my parents could raise a good and a reliable kid. Then the next question which always bugged me, "your parents had 7 kids, all from one dad!?" Meanwhile, there were huge Irish families and huge black families, and no one questioned my Irish friends, so I knew what the underlying messages were. It was a silent understanding that black men were having children by different women and not taking care of them – so my dad being married to my mom, with 7 children of his own, was hard for those folks to believe. (I know it’s off topic but we have to learn how to get to know people, before we judge them.)
But it’s misconceptions and generalizations like the aforementioned that have to be done away with. It’s not easy because many thoughts, like these, are taught at home – which is why teachers are so important. Unfortunately, some teachers bring into the classroom their own biases…that’s another story and another tangent I could go off on.
Back to Mondesire’s post…Paul profiles one gentleman, David Banks, who is making a difference and helping to lead a new generation of black boys to reach their greatness.
"When I asked Mr. Banks what gets him revved up to go to work in the morning he said, “I am here to make a difference directly by having an impact on young African American and Latino males whose lives are beyond a crisis. What makes me proud…and humbled, is the fact that 20 additional all-male public and charter schools have been opened across the country since 2004. I know they are looking at the Eagle Academy model because I have received calls and hosted visits for people trying to get involved.”
Kudos, Paul and David!