But even that may not be enough.
One of the things that gets some emphasis in the study is the need for black males to help themselves, and on that I agree. It will take, through all of the resources outlined in “Building a Beloved Community,” not only a funneling of dollars, but sweat equity to those on the ground level to make all of this work.
Even though this report is an excellent step toward improving things, it doesn’t mean much if its intentions can’t reach people who are able to apply them in the Brevoort Houses in Brooklyn, or Treme’ in New Orleans, or Back of the Yards in Chicago.
Direct engagement with young Black males is what works, even though policy change, research and funding are all crucial allies as well. Evidence of success by engaging with Black boys is already there and has been for generations.
Drug dealers and gang leaders have engaged our boys since we started to become large populations in inner cities. They never had any problem with walking up to kids offering quick money, protection, even family where those things did not exist for them.
To keep our children away from the negativity and focus them on achievement, resources must be placed among those who can most effectively use them at the grassroots level and continue using them, long-term and with replication.
Download “Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement” here (PDF).