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Symposium offers new recommendation to save Black men

Symposium offers new recommendation to save Black men

Educating Teens Inc. held their eighth Stop the Violence Focus on Boys and Young Men Symposium, recently. They brought together scholars from around the city to better understand how to teach and relate to young Black men in a broader objective to convince them to avert a life of crime.

Michael Quigley, PhD, emceed the event and began by stressing the importance of focusing on the strengths of the men instead of the deficits.

“In a lot of Black families graduation from high school is the measure of success. They spend hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars on the prom because that is the plateau. The measure of success is simply surviving.” Quigley added, “I don’t say that as a sweeping generalization or indictment of the Black family. There is a consistent thread across our young men’s lives that they are being failed by the schooling system.

African American children start school three thousand words behind their peers.”

Quigley said he sees that is an African American community issue.

“They view themselves as intellectually inferior but physically gifted. A lot of this culture is promoted by educators. That’s why you have a privileged class that are athletes but those same Black men are considered problems as students.”

He said this leads to what he calls “Racial invisibility disorder. The effects of which lead to a mentality in Black men that unless I’m on the field or court or in trouble you don’t see me.”

His recommendations for this were as follows. We need to focus on the real and the skill helping Black men develop a sense of self-worth, pride and a sense of pride and ability in academics. Help to build self-discipline.

Focus on math and literacy. Increase the amount of Black teachers, especially in the higher level courses. Utilizing role models that have been through something to help the youth. Critical race theory—creating conversations in schools about Black males. Deal with internalized Black racism how Black men view themselves.

Kezia Ellison founder and president of educating teens Inc. said this is the crux of what the Black community needs to focus on.

“This is the eighth year that we have had this focus. It doesn’t just impact them as far as losing their lives or being injured but it destroys families so it is not just an issue of health but community.”

She said she developed a way to better understand youth when she was a youth herself in high school.

“I developed AUDA in high school. A for awareness, U for understanding D for dialogue and A for action,” she said.

“That is why the first session was called let’s hear it from the boys.” Boys like Ronald Pelton, 13 of South Hills middle school from the Hill 8th grade who said the main thing he learned was “to pay attention do my work and listen.”

Albertha Graham Ellison is the VP and program director of Educating Teens On HIV/AIDS. “Education cannot stay stagnant, we have to constantly change with what’s going on in the environment. Learn when to ask for help. Learn to walk away, just not from the police.”



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