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« On The Verge of the Perfect Shoe | Main | Black and Male in America »



Chris Rock's joke about not taking credit for what we are SUPPOSED to do is funny, but only touches surface truth. You hit on the deeper truth: despair can lead to falling prey to statistics. Not all of us can't withstand the daily wearing down. I wish I knew how Black women could help more.



yeah I read that article in the NY times, and it does'nt look good for us out here,,, horrible stats!!! show we are on the verge of social death!


I am dismayed by these stats too. It should be in the public discussion much more. It shows the crisis our country is in, and needs to be addressed. I am the mother of two black sons and I want this worked on!


I avoided reading this article for DAYS (it was sent to me via email at least three times) - simply because I wasn't ready to be bombarded with the information (once again) that our men are being left behind. Almost half of black inner city boys don't graduate from high school?? WTF?

Like you, DPM, I've been fortunate enough & somewhat sheltered by the bleak realities this new study highlights: in the sense that I've witnessed and have always been surrounded by positive, productive, socially conscious black men more often than not...

When the odds are so stacked against "us", many of our efforts go into making sure you & yours stay on the right path, purely out of self-preservation...but after we've "made it" i.e - having overcome our challenging beginnings & have thrived and prospered to a certain degree - I think now we have a responsibility to address these issues - even if it's just on an individual level.

Other thing is - how do we get information, education, resources, programs, long-term support, etc. to the people who REALLY need it. How much can we do (as a community) vs. what needs to be done on a wider scale (funding, social programs, etc.)
This is such a complex issue, with failures on every level....

This shit breaks my heart. What threatens black men's ability to prosper, also affects ME. I feel like at minimum, my job is to continue to guide, raise, educate, & empower my young black son to avoid & rise beyond the innate pitfalls of being born black and male in America. And PRAY that he uses the resources and opportunities he's been afforded.

I also think mentorships by older brothers for these youngsters can really help in the areas of positive male socialization, life skills, etc.

sorry for the long post.

Cocoa Girl

I agree with Supa on the mentorships bit. Black boys could be mentored by black women but it's just not the same as having a positive male role model - ESPECIALLY one who can relate to their struggles.

Out of all of my college-edcuated, done made it guy friends, none of them mentor black boys or men. However, they are always quick to judge them coons and other bad things.

Also, I had no idea that the situation for our black men has become so dire. Reading these stats - and examining the reasons behind the continued failure of black men and boys - I feel even more justified in my damning of present day hip hop/rap culture. The likes of all these rappers are continuing to profit by exploiting a negative lifestyle that they no longer have to lead, and often do not lead. Meanwhile all these young boys and men are continuing to follow this stuff.

Sorry, but brothas need to step up more. I don't lie blameless at all, but our community needs our men to step up.


I got that e-mail as well, and it is saddening. I feel like if you don't fall into these statistics then you have already won half the battle, so don't despair. Mentoring those kids who need it, is a must, though. We can't sit around and wallow in this crisis, especially if we don't fall into these statistics. I think, as community members we should volunteer to mentor youth (and even take opportunities to talk to youth in your neighborhood). As parents you should definitely be involved in you child's school system, as well as county and state committee meetings. I agree with Cocoa, though. Young boys need positive MALE role models. There is so much still to be done...


Yes. Yes. Yes.

I full on believe, that, in an effort to equalize, if I may, gender issues in this society, we have neglected, on times abused, and many time out and out disregarded the issues that are prevalent in our younger men.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that people do not have choices and responsibilites and should not be accountable for such. What I AM saying is that the dominos are stacked VERY heavily against the favor of the male.

There is a standard that is measured for a man to be suitable. Black women, in particular do it all the time.

- His Credit
- His Education (that's a variable)
- His vehicle
- His child status
- His criminal record.


Even though the woman may have had some issues in her life, her expectation for the mail raises the bar.

That's not to say you should take an undereducated, broke brother,


I am saying that it takes one accident to send your life into a tailspin and sometimes years to get out of. If you see that someone has a demonstrated capacity to be a leader, takes care of himself AT ALL COSTS, and those he loves, then that's the fabric of a man.

I grieve for our young boys. I know they feel left out. And the way they express it is tragic.

And people say it's easier to raise girls than boys.



A study was done on elephants. Male adolescent elephants left to their own devices without a "Mature male" to keep them in check randomly went on rampages, destroyed, killed, and raped. I think sometimes nature mirrors mankind. Black households need fathers plain and simple. Black women should not raise black male children alone. It is not natural and though it appears that as long as the child survives, whatever you call that, look at the stats, we as a people seem to be satisfied with that. Where are the black fathers? I have always held the belief that black men should marry their babies mothers and raise black male children in an intact household. When you see that happening, you'll see less horror in the stats. Black women need black men too. Who else is going to stand by us? Nobody. The key to a strong black society is a strong black family unit. Not a fractured make do situation.


You sound like just the kind of man that could make a difference for a lot of young black boys who are on the verge of becoming these statistics. Great blog!


I read and posted these alarming stats on my own blog as well.

You will find even more sobering statistics at

I love the enlightenment and sharing of information blogs provide but, we must cease to engage in verbal masturbation and ACT!

Stop knocking at the same door, if nobody answers.


Don't mean to divert from the lecture at hand


@ Pam: Verbal Masturbation sounds like the bomb!


@P: Just like the other kind...let's you blow off a little steam but, diverts your attention from the real thing.

And...I did say verbal...not oral. Got a dog who can do that and it DOES look like the bomb! :)


well, as the mother of a young black man-child i am worried. i am scared at the prospects of my son growing up in a country that does not value his existence. and furthermore, a country whose images of black men & black people in general are often negative. i think it is up to mothers, fathers (familes, communities, etc) to break this cycle.

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