Last year, Tavis Smiley hosted a forum in North Miami that was televised on CSPAN 2 called "The State of the Black Family." It was the display of intellect, excellence, and most importantly tangible solutions by the participants in this forum that has helped me to revitalize my efforts; Join with people like Tavis Smiley and Tom Joyner in the mission to help empower black people in this country.
The continuous efforts of people like Tavis as well as Debra Dickerson have inspired me to develop my own unofficial afrosocial think tank. My mission is to discuss cultural, financial, and social wellness/etiquette issues from an eclectic,afrocentric point of view. Other topics like current events, music, politics, world news or any other concerns within the realm of the black diaspora will be entertained. Of the many discussions made by the panelists the most memorable statements were made by Judge Greg Mathis, San Francisco psychologist Julia Harea, and sociologist, Orlando Patterson of Harvard University.
Dr. Patterson raised a crucially important question of why, with blacks being the most religious race of people in this country, are we experiencing the lowest percentage of marriage, the highest rate of divorce, the highest
rate of co-habitation, and the highest rate of breakups amongst co-habitators.Even though Judge Mathis told brothers to 'man up' and Julia
harea said, "There are too many black men in prison waiting for justice and too many black women in church waiting for Jesus."
the most crucial comment was made by Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of Medgar Wiley Evers. She wisely stated that young [black] mothers should take up the responsibility in raising their sons. I firmly believe this is one of the most important of many solutions in solving the disparities between black men and women as well as saving our young brothers.
My mom made a superhuman effort of raising me to be the strong black man I am today, and she did it by herself. Two of the many important things my mom did while raising me were telling me the truth about who my dad is as a person, and consistently instilling her high expectations of me. When we talked about my dad she wanted me to understand his strengths and weaknesses, not brainwash me with negative, one-sided, slanderous comments about him. She also worked tirelessly to instill in me a strong sense ofintegrity, moral responsibilities, confidence, and self-esteem.
She also taught me the importance of perseverance, having strong work ethics, and an unwavering faith in God. I said all that to say that a single mother is the most important figurein a boy's life. Even though these young brothers should be held responsible for their actions the real problem is being the by-product of a failed single parent upbringing.
Another crucially important statement Judge Mathis made was sisters need to stop loving these irresponsible, unworthy brothers
too much. The same thuggish brothers they love so much are the same brothers that in turn abuse and neglect them or as Judge Mathis so boldly stated 'mack' them. The problem is these brothers don't even love themselves, therefore they can't love someone else and they
definitely don't know how to receive love.
Of course I'm not saying the responsibility of raising a son should lay solely with the mother, nevertheless, the facts must be faced. If a
single mother truly wants her son to grow up to be a real man, and the biological father refuses to be involved then she's going to have to
commit herself to the task of creating a man. Whether it be instilling a boy with positive attributes or finding a suitable male role model in the neighborhood or both the task should be taken seriously and whole-heartedly from birth, not when he reaches adolescence.