SURGE: How the Church is Empowering Black Men to Achieve. : ThyBlackMan

Monday, October 21, 2019

SURGE: How the Church is Empowering Black Men to Achieve.

April 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Talk, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Not all news about black men is negative. For decades now, we’ve heard negative news coverage, data, conclusions drawn by social scientists and even some in our own community that the black man in America is dangerous, deviant and dysfunctional. The media will peddle surface views to the masses – one must be willing to research and work to uncover the truth.

New data, for instance, shows that black men are – and have been for quite some time – moving into the mainstream like never before.

The truth is black men are surging forward and upward; more black men are poised to enter the middle class than ever before; plying new roads in finance, authorship, entrepreneurship, family, faith and fitness.

According to Black Men Making it In America: The Engines of Economic Success for Black Men in America by W. Bradford Wilcox, Wendy R. Wang, and Ronald B. Mincy, there are three principle engines driving this surge of new prosperity and achievement by black men: the U.S. military, the black church and the institution of marriage.

Although all three play major roles, it is the black church that interests me the most, in particular the role the church plays in preventing young men from contact with the American criminal justice system.

The authors of the report write: Black men who frequently attended church or other religious services at a young age are also more likely to reach the middle class or higher when they are in their fifties: 53% of those men who attended church as young men made it, compared to 43% who did not.

The authors’ further state that the most likely reason for this phenomenon is that churchgoing may lift black men’s income by reinforcing prosocial behavior. Churchgoing is also linked to greater odds that black men reach the middle-class or higher-income brackets in midlife.

Research also suggests that churchgoing reduces the odds that black men have contact with the criminal justice system and increases the odds that they are employed or in school.

This is great news and reinforces the view that exposing young black boys to church at an early age is an effective deterrent to a life of crime. Does it mean that all boys who attend church never come into contact with the criminal justice system? Of course not. It just says that young black churchgoing boys are less likely to be exposed than are.

It’s more than just Bible study, prayer and Sunday school – it’s also discipline, character-building and social skills that the church offers.

Whatever we suggest that the church is not, we cannot argue with the fact that organized religion on some level instills young men with, as the sociologist Elijah Anderson terms it, a “code of decency” that encompasses personal responsibility, gainful employment and a “positive view of the future”.

There are many black churches that offer some form of ministry for men and include mentoring programs for the black boy demographic specifically. Do we need more? Indeed we do!

It is important that we recognize this forward and upward mobility of black men in America and continue to create and foster the environment that will keep our men on the road to achieving great things.

Black men are surging forward and the church is at the forefront of that effort.

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) –


5 Responses to “SURGE: How the Church is Empowering Black Men to Achieve.”
  1. @W. Eric Croomes: Solutions you say?

    Eric was right in his assertions. ALL churches — but especially black churches — should be the power center of their communities. When the laundry list of black men were killed by the police, not one church by itself, but a coalition of churches should have banded together to not only organize protests, but to put extreme amounts of pressure on ALL of the actors involved. DAs. Judges. Officers. Clerks. Court reporters. Every part of the system should have been touched by the churches and their members.

    How could the church be so powerful back in the 50’s and 60’s and be a shell of what it used to be today? For the reasons that Eric posted, of course. Your comment of Less opinions and more solutions is more suited for the preachers who AREN’T doing these things versus Eric. I’m tired of hearing about the mentoring programs and the outreach programs and helping the homeless. They can do that in peacetime, and they should be EXPECTED to do that in peacetime, just like you expect a sermon on Sunday. But we aren’t in peacetime when every week there is a mass shooting or a governmental murder of its citizens or corrupt politicians living above the law in broad daylight.

    Congregants need to withhold their donations/tithes and withdraw from ANY church that is not acting as though they are in a different time. If a church is not activist, it should cease to exist. But since Black people are largely creatures of extreme habit, getting them to Think Differently in this area is almost akin to getting them to say that God is black. And as long as white Jesus hangs on the wall next to Martin Luther King Jr., I fear all is lost.

  2. @PelvoWhiteJr.: Less opinions. More solutions.

  3. Pelvo White, Jr. says:

    Eric: It has been my observation that too many so-called preachers are nothing more than lazy men, and women looking for an easy buck from poor, and misguided African Americans by half-hardheartedly using the bible to hoodwink them.Why don’t preachers stop trying to convince African Americans to be reformed Hebrews, and preach being good Americans ?It is my opinion that when white chattel slave owners got off of the backs of freed slaves, the African American preacher got on, and has been riding the deceived African American ever since. America is a democracy, not a theocracy.

  4. Eric says:

    @Pelvo White, Jr.: It was not my examples I cited, it was from the report mentioned. Try reading that report and maybe you will come to different conclusions than lambasting preachers.

  5. Pelvo White, Jr. says:

    I hired a man to lay some new carpet in my house. The white man , and his son did a very good job, and while he was working he talked with me. I asked him how he came to be in the carpeting business ? He said that his church helped him go into business. He told me that his church loaned him the money to buy his van, and, the tools he needed to do his work.He also said that members of his church supported him by being some of his first, and continuing customers. I don’t know one single black preacher that can complete his own IRS 1040 Form and accompanying schedules let alone conceptualize a church owned credit union or bank.Any career that has at its core the possibility of being killed by a bomb,bullet or disease like that of the military isn’t a very good career, and finally,arguments over finances is one of the major causes of divorce in America today.Your examples of empowerment are weak.

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