Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Four Actions Black Men Must Take to Restore Our Communities.

June 4, 2018 by  
Filed under Opinion, Relationships, Weekly Columns

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( I do not wish to cite negative statistics to buttress my intent in publishing this article. Most of us know don’t really need to ponder Marvin Gaye’s epochal question, What’s Going On?

We know. We see it and read about it on a daily basis. All we need to ask is, what can I do about it?

Every man who is a man should ask that question. Every man who is a man should be ashamed to die before they’ve made some plausible effort to provide an answer and perhaps a cure for the ills of our community.

Here are four (among many) actions we may take as men to make a positive difference.


When most people think of mentoring, they envision detailed and immaculately-designed programs tailored for a certain demographic. All that is good. But what I am pointing to is much simpler.

I love how John C. Crosby frames it: Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.

We can make a small difference that does not require a big effort. Just asking a kid about his grades may provide the impetus to do better. Just reminding a kid of their greatness may take that young man or woman to heights of self-love never before realized.

Today, say something simple yet profound to a kid.


Time reported recently on the extraordinary spike in the number of first-time female candidates running for public service in the last year, most likely as a direct response to the perceived sexist leadership out of Washington D. C. It’s being called a grassroots movement that could change America.

Where do we stand as men? What are we doing to effect change? The first step is to participate in our democracy. It may or may not mean a run for public office. Often, it’s what you do where you are and with whatever resources you have at your disposal.

The bottom line is to get involved in something; whether it’s a church or community effort, taking a stand at your job or local elementary school.

In the words of the imminent Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall: This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.

Make the Connections

Once you get in involved at any level of service, you will begin to see the connections between what happens at the local level and what’s taking place on the national and global level. You will see, for example, the rise of neo-right hate groups across Europe and its connection to the hate crime that occurred down the street from you. You will see that local politics is often an ‘echo chamber’ of what’s happening nationally.

For example, we will readily see the connection between the advancement of the prison-industrial complex and the so-called ‘pipeline to prison’ policies that are predominant in our elementary and middle school systems.

Turns out George Orwell nailed it: In our age there is no such thing as “keeping out of politics”. All issues are political issues…

Become Anti-Anti-Intellectual

As if the need for facilitating positive change in our community lacked a crisis point, consider the rapid spread of anti-intellectual thinking and conduct now afflicting our youth. Young people mock other youngsters for “acting white” because youngsters do their homework, speak articulately and exhibit responsible civic behavior.

We need men to stand in the gap and become anti-anti-intellectual; to say “Enough”! to the rampant idiocy afflicting our teens; to point them to a more excellent way of expression!

Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, a Chicago educator and author of To Be Popular or Smart, refers to this behavior as the silent killer of a generation.

We can make a difference.

Staff Writer; W. Eric Croomes

This talented brother is a holistic lifestyle exercise expert and founder and executive coach of Infinite Strategies LLC, a multi-level coaching firm that develops and executes strategies for fitness training, youth achievement and lifestyle management. Eric is an author, fitness professional, holistic life coach and motivational speaker.

In October 2015, Eric released Life’s A Gym: Seven Fitness Principles to Get the Best of Both, which shows readers how to use exercise to attract a feeling of wellness, success and freedom (Infinite Strategies Coaching LLC, 2015) –

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