I’m tired of the stories — story after negative story — about African-American male youth. If we are going to turn around the crime and violence in our community, it is going to require all of us, especially African-American men, to step forward and get involved.
For almost nine years, I have been a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia. Eighty-three percent of the children in this program are African-Americans, as are 31 of the 37 boys currently waiting for a mentor.
Why are more men of color not stepping up?
It can’t be the time required. The agency requires a commitment of just four to six hours a month.
It can’t be financial. Every week the agency sends out ideas for inexpensive and in many cases free activities available in the community to foster dialogue between the mentor and his Little Brother.
Or is it the perception that those of a certain socio-economic class are not wanted that is hindering good black men from stepping up and mentoring? Not having the corner-office-type job; being a blue-collar worker. (The State)