Growing up as a young melanted man without a father at home sent me on a quest to get information on my own. Whether it was one of my older brothers, or a friend that lived down the street, connecting myself to some form of masculine energy was a must. As I’ve gotten older it has become clear to me, many of the simple things I didn’t learn as a young man came directly from my lack of the proper male guidance that typically comes with having an active father in the home.
Our communities lack the resources to create plausible options for a young person that needs something to do. We end up either playing sports or turning to the street life. In my opinion, both options present their own set of problems without the proper male influence. Let me explain, the moment a young melanated man makes it to the professional sports ranks he will be bombarded with offers from agents, managers, old friends, new friends, distant family members all looking to get their piece of the pie. Don’t let him become a star, now all the original problems will be multiplied by 10. The biggest protection mechanism a young man can have in this situation is a strong father’s presence. Don’t get me wrong, both parents should be included in the process but all too often a college recruiter goes into a young man’s home and the mother is the only representation. In my opinion, with sports being such a male dominated industry, the lack of the father’s presence puts her at a severe disadvantage. And of course, we are all aware of what the streets have in store for a young impressionable mind that’s eager to prove himself in a society that has always viewed him as a second-class citizen. Not to mention, the prison industrial complex that rips our community apart with minor crime and drug offenses. This is an issue that we face regardless of our home structure. We must acknowledge the fact that allowing our young melanated boys to grow up in this society without any positive male guidance must stop. So, it’s time for the men in our community to step up and lead our youth in the right direction.