Self Determination: A Call to Rescue and Recover Black Males
African-American men in their early 30s have been found to be twice as likely to have prison records than bachelor degrees. It has also been found that only three out of 100 Black students who enter kindergarten will graduate from college. These were some of the many startling facts presented at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh State of Black Pittsburgh. Sadly, these facts can be articulated in any of the urban cities. In prison, on probation, on drugs, in gangs, suspended, expelled or dropped out of school is the terrible circumstance of black males.
In 1995, a million black men gather in Washington, D.C., to proclaim a new path to manhood, centered on personal responsibility for their families and each other. Fourteen years later, situation remains virtually unchanged. To be sure, the Million Man March (MMM) focused attention on the plight of the black male, and inspired many black men to return to their communities to assume the awesome task of community uplift. The current state of the black male demands that we once again take up this issue. This will have to be the work of the Talented Tenth. To paraphrase W.E.B. DuBois, the black male, like other males, will be saved by its exceptional men (and women).
Thus, this is a call, that this Kwanzaa we commit ourselves to the courageous task of uplifting the black male. The Kwanzaa principle Kujichagulia, Self-determination, demands nothing less of us. This is a call to organize on-line those who are will to take up the battle for the future of African American people. This very well may be the historical mission of the current generation of African Americans. The eminent scholar and activist Frantz Fanon reminds us that, “Each generation must out of relative obscurity discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.” Let me hear from you.