Name: Donnell Hicks
Title: From Boys to Men
Young black teenage males between the ages of 12-17 years old have a difficult time growing up to become prominent young black men in society. For some, they are bred in the rundown, rough, and desolate inner cities throughout America with a sense of no belonging or no way out but down. These young black males have to deal with less economic opportunities, high violent crime, becoming a drug dealer, lack of jobs, and living in rundown tenements. Some have to deal with living with a single mother who works three to four jobs just to make ends meet; others are living with grandmothers who are on a fixed income. With more young black males dying in the streets every day, there is a high demand for income equality and most of all a decent adult role model to reach out to them and show them a way to prosperity.
We all understand that for some black males it is hard for them to complete high school. So, they put their faith in sports like football and basketball, or hanging on the street corner selling drugs, or better yet becoming a rapper. They believe these are the paths to success and hold true to the idea that these pathways will be their guiding force. These young black males are starting to become lost in a world filled with intense crime, technology, and the urge to get rich quick that many are ending up in jail or dead in the ground without any guidance whatsoever.
It is evident during the summer months when school is out of session. The streets in the urban cities become intensely crazy. Every day and every night the news broadcasts images of our young black teens killing one another, ending up in jail, or dropping out of school just to sell a few crack rocks on the street corner hoping to have a better life for themselves all in the name of MONEY. Little do these young black males know, they’re only hurting themselves in the process. The lack of positivity in their lives will clearly hinder their future and will turn them into men living behind the prison walls.
Most of these young black males have grown up in a household dominated by single mothers; the fathers are not around or some just show up occasionally. It is imperative fathers must be in their children’s lives from the time their infants all the way through adulthood. We all know the young black males will look to their peers in the streets for a sense of kinship and positivity. Truth be told, our young men are yearning for someone to show them how to be men, how to be tough and stand in the midst of courage; and they need that guidance to show them a better way to a brighter future. This is the reason why I salute comedian Steve Harvey for gathering other prominent male actors a million young black teens to his secluded ranch to help them gain a better life. Of course, they would have to take responsibility for their actions regardless of their socioeconomic status. Our young men need help getting to the promise land.
Lastly, local, state, and federal governments must come together to form a bi-partisan effort to help these African-American teens - to help them by giving them more jobs in the inner cities, more after school programs, and more after school recreational centers. And the end, they will definitely be BOYS TO MEN.