The engineer and multi-industry consultant in me induce me to look at any problem/situation on a systemic level as to get to get to its root causes as opposed to simply pontificating, or ‘chatting online” about its perceived manifestations, which differ from person to person (anyway). Prior to solving any problem one must first realize that the problem exists. Subsequently, one must truly understand the problem in the right context as to communicate the change that must occur in order to reach a viable solution to the problem. My goal is never to please the status quo, rather it is to challenge it on substantive issues.
I could have summed up this article with one formula which would suffice for the intellectually-non-curious. However, it would have been insufficient and incomplete for the intellectually curious. We should all be curious to "listen" to all people (i.e., read/read and learn from them), especially those who have a stake in what we discuss. There is a lack of intellectual curiosity among Blacks, which is a sub-issue that can be tackled on a different article. So, here we are:
Broken Black Boy (BBB) = Broken Black Man (BBM) = Broken Black Community (BBC) = Unhappy and Incomplete Black Women (UIBW)
Before anyone starts reminding me of the EXCEPTIONS… well, of course, there are always HEROES and EXCEPTIONS. However, this article is about the pervasive issue of Black community stagnancy and an ULTIMATE SOLUTION and not the exceptions…
The theme is the same in most predominantly Black areas… LIQUOR STORES, CHURCHES, CHURCHES, CHURCHES, MORE LIQUOR STORES, MEN HANGING AROUND THE CORNER DEALING, SOME FRIED CHICKEN PLACES, SOME HAIR /BEAUTY PLACES, MANY POORLY KEPT SCHOOLS, A FEW “OK” ONES, FEW CARE CENTERS, HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT, LOTS OF STREET HUSTLERS and MORE LIQUOR STORES.
While it's tempting to become overwhelmed/consumed by this matter of fact, let us not become trapped into the manifestations/symptoms of the *BBB* syndrome like most have been thus far. Rather, let’s focus on its SOURCE… essentially what we’ll call…
The “BBB” (i.e., the Broken Black Boy)…
I wrote a LorinsPOST.com article entitled the “Black Male Low Expectation Syndrome two (2) years or so ago, which focuses on the Black male performance in school, thus the BBB Syndrome is a syndrome that goes beyond the Black Boy by focusing on the impact of his “brokenness” on society at large because GUESS WHO BECOME MEN years later?
Yup, BOYS have the certainty of becoming MEN in the future (if they survive the ‘hood’), thus, the best way of understanding THE BROKEN BLACK MAN (BROKEN BLACK MANHOOD) is by understanding his very GENESIS (i.e., BLACK BOYHOOD)…
Purposeful living is self-evident in our culture as human beings. The lifestyles that we have, our neighborhoods, entrepreneurial ventures, architectures and interests in the applications of the rule of math and science to real life situations emanate from ONE SOURCE; A PURPOSEFUL LIFE.
The Purposeless Black Boy
If we don’t know where we are going any road that we take we’ll take us nowhere. In life, we must have a purpose. It is self-evident that when young Black men decide to enter politics they seek it purposefully, the same applies to sports, and even pastoring churches. Accordingly, once one’s life has a set meaning and purpose, he will feel driven and passionate about that purpose enough to persuade others to induce positive changes and the latter is the definition of LEADERSHIP in and of itself.
The best way to become purposeless Black men is to remain a purposeless Black boy. Thus, while Minister Farrakhan had an idea of the problem with the Million Men March, and deserves a lot of credit for trying to tackle it, he, too, failed to tackle the SOURCE of the problem…
Paradigm Shift to Purposeful Black Boys (Thus Purposeful Black Men Later)
Boys have to be viewed as future men. It takes a village to raise a child must not be a slogan. Both Blacks and Whites have a duty to exhort young Black men to behave, shape up. BOY/MAN UP, feel encouraged, driven, motivated, and lead them to realizing that they are important and will play a very pivotal role not only in their own communities but in society at a large, but ONLY IF THEIR LIVES have A PURPOSE, and only if they gain the respect of their elders, and members of society at large.
Boys need love too… they need mentors… they need to be told that they are smart, strong, capable and CALLED to be not just good, but also GREAT!
The Black Church and Black Women
The Black Church and black women have become surrogates for the Black family. However, the outcome hasn’t been ideal because ONLY a true Black family (which can also be an interracial family) can help create SOLID and POSITIVE BLACK CULTURE and only such a culture can act as the operating system/software (communication channel) to effectuate positive changes so that the community at large will induce BOYS to become SOLID YOUNG MEN that will in turn become SOLID BLACK MALE LEADERS for their communities.
True Black Male Mentor-ship
More mentors are needed for Black males. If Black males cannot act as mentors, other males should step in early on in the process (prior to the teenage years when identities have already been formed or malformed). Black male surrogate mentors can come from any other race. But, such people need to identify with Black plight and understand Black culture, language, and issues as to communicate both effectively and positively.
President Obama Missed the Boat On this Issue...
Let me quickly state that President Obama should have tackled the issue discussed in this article head on. In fact, I can’t believe that the single most qualified man to tackle it dropped the ball by choosing to focus on his signature health care law (mainly). Obviously, his heart was not in it, and typically our treasure will be where are our hearts are. Although, he did help the Black image issue with his lovely Black family, he failed to tackle the root causes of Black inequity and disenfranchisement in America and elsewhere. No one was better positioned to tactfully tackle it than he did, but he seems to have dropped the ball. He should have at least consulted men like Cornell West, whom he might categorized as too polarized, yet were exactly the respected experts that could have made his presidency complete. I'm rather disappointed by his effort in this very important aspect of his election to the presidency, in other words, his identification as a BLACK MAN!
In a nutshell, we need to focus less on Black Male Figure Surrogates (i.e, the Church and the proverbial Black Grandmother or BIG MOMMA who seems to play the role of Father, Mother, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Personal Advisor etc). While she is well-meaning, she is no replacement for a much NEEDED BLACK MALE LEADER; The KING OF THE CASTLE. We need to revert back to training BOYS to become SOLID BLACK MALE FIGURES who will lead their families towards generational happiness and wealth.
We need to RE-MASCULATE BLACK BOYS as to...
...prepare them to become INTELLECTUALLY and SOCIALLY-POTENT BLACK MEN… and this my friend is not a BLACK ISSUE only. It is an American issue, because when a deranged Black person chooses to rob someone he will not care if that person is Black or White. The better off Black males are, the better off the Black family will be and the better off America and the World at large will be.
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