It goes without saying that there are too many negative acts occurring in Black communities across this nation. The media covers the horrible effects of drugs, the high rate of young women who become pregnant, robberies, killings, nonfunctioning families and the difficulties our children face in the educational system.

I appeared on a local television station this past week to discuss the death of two Blacks, but I never did, because it is so apparent to me and hopefully to many of you, that we and society must focus on the causes, thereby limiting or eradicating the negative effects the media thrives on.

However, before I discuss the causes, I need to reflect on what we must do. We must provide different people who have new ideas and programs that provide an opportunity to become the solution to some of our far too many problems. Programs such as a “project for fathers” could be a revolutionary method of helping men who fathered children to become loving responsible fathers. Another program that I have been tremendously impressed with is Your Sister Project. It is revolutionary because its primary function is to develop a young parent into a mother and mature adult, but also challenges these young women to be active participants in the operation of the program. It’s a unique approach because those who only have academic qualifications but no true understanding always run programs that are designed to help a certain segment.

The causes are lack of spiritual awareness and economic opportunities.

The church of our fathers instilled in us a clear understanding that the word “can’t” was not acceptable in our lives or vocabulary, that we could become responsible men and women. The church of today has too frequently lost its way, (not my church). Remember, “if the shoe fits…”

Black men have been shut out of gainful employment, which is the overwhelming reason for unstable homes, and this instability perpetuates itself in our young people who fail in school.

The penal system has been an absolute failure. It’s lock them up for a few years and let them out, then put them in rehabilitation programs, which are generally a failure. All you have to do is look at the percentage who return to jail. The overwhelming number of those in rehabilitation programs are Black men and women. But ask yourself are any of these programs run by Blacks? If not, why not? Once you have been a part of the penal system then it becomes very difficult, if not almost impossible, to get a job.

It has always been my belief and conviction that focusing on our youth in the third grade is the absolute answer. Yes, prevention.

Does society care or has incarceration become such a gigantic multi-billion dollar business?

A positive effect on our youth is when you send a donation to the youth of Kingsley Association.

(This column is a repeat of a previously run column.)

(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)


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