Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Black Community Interventions Must Be Balanced By "Congregational Buy In"

Philadelphia Inquirer: Black Men Bring Positive Message To Philly Schoolchildren


  • As a Black man who has jumped at every "Career Day" when local school kids come to the office
  • As a Black man who participants (when available) with "Youth Motivation Days" where we go into schools
  • As a Black man who spent 2.5 years participating in a "Reading Program For Black Boys".......

I now have a more complex outlook for the "Black Community Engagement" drives.

On the one hand - I enjoy the interactions with young people.  The attempts of bridging the world of high school with the world of business - where a "missed homework assignment" can get you fired and have ripple effects on your ability to care for your family is a major leap.

I do make the case that learning is a lifetime activity.   My competitive edge in my "knowledge sharing" profession is my ability to give my customers some focused knowledge or advice that can help their business.

I support the attempts to expose school children to the world they will one day face.

At the same time - beyond my interaction with "The Project Kids" in the reading program - my concerns focused upon the ADULT MALES in their lives - who's lack of presence I was asked to supplement - every week.

As I looked back on my time spent in the program - I do not recall a single time in which a father of any of these boys dropped off or picked up their son.

  • I saw mothers
  • I saw sisters
  • I saw older brothers
  • I saw "lead female" that lead a group of children - other than her own - to and from the session

My push back is - I can no longer agree to GIVE without a commensurate level of expectation placed upon OTHER BLACK MALES who are more intimately engaged in the production of these children to do their part.

Failing to erect this "closed loop" creates the "Confidence Schemes" that I call out on my sister blog - "Within The Black Community".

There is no way to have comprehensive "community uplift" unless the community communicates to its "congregation" what they must do in the way of "buy in" to lift the whole up to their desired point.

Spending 2 hours per week with a group of young male students - regardless of how much I bonded with them - cannot replace the function of a RESIDENT FATHER IN THE HOME.

As the theory goes:  "To those who much is given - much is expected".

What happens if - instead of "given" we make note of the PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR that both groups of people have exhibited?

If we assume that the presence of a positive influence is a FORCE.  
The community asks that those who are "blessed" as asked to apply an AFFIRMATIVE FORCE upon others, with the hopes of "breaking a cycle".

My problem is with how the Black community handles "Negative Forces" - which have the equal capability at making an imprint.  
The community has no problem demanding that "Those Who Have" to live up to their civic and "congregational duties".   The "I Got Mine You Have To Get Your Own" mentality is suppressed.

The problem is that when we go to the other side of the force field and consider how the negative forces are managed and mitigated - we get a confusing set of messages by those who have specific interests.  The battle for the "Black Community Culture" is at the root of all of this.

  • The debate is shifted from the IMPACT of the negative force over to "the history that delivered it to our community" ("I Know Who Did This To Us And They Are Going To Be Made To Pay")
  • The debate is shifted over to the other people who do the same thing but don't suffer sanction.  (They Are In The Mud With Us But Escape Prosecution) 
In both cases above the intent is "obfuscation" and "re-normalization" of the standard of behavior.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting into words and imagery a subject which is incredibly hard to articulate well to people.

Anonymous said...

The number of comments is reflective of level of seriousness of your prose.

Keep posting. Practice makes perfect.

Anonymous said...

In response to the first comment, drivel has always been incredibly hard to articulate.