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I’m so sick and tired of  the statistics that always show black Americans trailing the rest of America in many social categories! Where  does it all begin? How do we become more of a viable force ? What’s in the future for African American men? Personally, I feel we are “the endangered ” species. We are an enigma! Like black on the color chart, I believe we are strong! We are intelligent! We have minds and therefore can do anything anyone else can do. We need to excel beyond the sports arena! How do we do that? How do we become more competitive? How do we survive?

I have a friend L. from my childhood. We reconnected recently. I found that he has an alcoholic son who frequently calls and “cusses” him out. L responds by hanging up on him because L now has COPD due to his past behaviors and is not tolerant of the verbal abuse. So he hangs up the phone.  There’s a DISCONNECT here. L takes no responsibility for his son’s condition or anger! I don’t know if L graduated high school. I do know being “cool” was a priority.  I do know that no one spent time preparing him for adult life. L spend most of his young adult life in jail, on the run, and abusing drugs etc. Hence the COPD.

I have a relative J. his parents have spent tons of money rescuing him from prison. He has drug and alcohol issues. His father had little to no education.  He has never bought and made payments for a car.  One could hold one’s breath longer than he can keep a job. He’s in his forties! Thank goodness no children.

I know two brothers M and M. One was a short time professional athlete. The other spent 30yrs with a major corporation. Both are “broke” these days.

So, one day I’m seated in my car next to the mall, and schoolbusses started droppping kids at the bus stop.  The kids mostly had backpacks, books, and cell phones. Most of the kids exited the busses and departed the area. There were about 6 blacks youths who exited the bus together. Instead of heading to their homes, these guys clowned and played for awhile before deciding to run across  the street and hangout at the mall.  Homework?? These guys had no books or backpacks. Best dressed!! Cell phones!!

There’s a pattern here. J’s parents never taught him life lessons or put in the time to prepare him for adult life. L. was a foster child who never knew his biological parents. I know that he never received much beyond room and board. The M aM brothers never received much either beyond room and board. They spent most of their younger years in church 3-5 times a week.

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