The Key to the Success of the African American Male March 11, 2007 For the majority of African American males, the path to success is a challenging one. Young African American males in today’s society face major challenges to their growth and security. The lack of opportunity and motivation stems from preceding obstacles set before the pathways of their ancestors. Therefore, the crisis faced by present day African American males is nothing new. Having unchanged outcomes in the social aspect of present-day African American males, Black youth should take the unsuccessful paths of their predecessors as lessons learned.
Nevertheless, there can not be any type of change expected without adequate opportunities as well as appropriate motivation. From an early age, it has become increasingly apparent that Black males are confronted with a series of obstacles in their attempts to attain academic, career, and personal-social success (Lee, 1992). Being that children are very impressionable, young black males need to be inspired with confidence by a positive example or influence in the beginning stages. The prior stages of adolescence are the most important to the development of successful African American males.
This is where the need for positive male role models becomes affective. Most would agree that the key factor of role models is greatly needed. Within the article, Wanted: A few good men, the importance of role models to increase opportunities for African American males were emphasized. Pointed out was a specific period in which a defining moment takes place in the young black male’s life. This was noted as the second of several defining moments, “When individuals assert their independence and often engage in high-risk behavior” (Simms, 1991).
This was seen in many black males, but particularly in those whose lives lacked a successful role model. In many cases, this is the key setback in the development of successful black males. The concern for the lack of successful role models is not the only factor, but the lack of realistic models for African American males is an issue also. In the article, Fighting the failure syndrome, it speaks of rescuing African American males from a future of self-destruction and an absence of positive male influence. The fact of the matter is, the majority of black youth grow up in female-headed, poor, and negative influenced environments (Simms, 1991).
Now, with the lack of a father or father figure, the stereotypical negative branding, and no other inspiring influences, Black youth are left with a limited choice of models to follow. It is stated that successful celebrities are too distant to offer realistic models of reliable maturity. “The adult males whom many black boys try to emulate come from their own neighborhoods, and in tough urban areas, these “models” are all too often involved in drugs and crime” (Tifft, 1990). With that being said, there needs to be an empowering of young Black males.
And coincidentally, Empowering Young Black Males, is an article that covers a variety of problems and possible solutions to the major challenges young Black males are faced with today. This article deals with African American males in schools, psychosocial development, as well as actions for intervention. The acknowledgement that young Black males are sufferers of negative attitudes and lowered expectations further enhances the need for empowerment schemes. Such initiatives must focus on helping Black male youth develop attitudes, behaviors, and values necessary to function at optimal levels at school and in the world (Lee, 1992).
Black male empowerment can play a major role in sponsoring a positive-based developmental program. The articles used provide good supporting facts of why positive male role models are needed as well as how much of a factor they are in the path to success. The process of developing young African American males goes through many stages. Having to find the right man for the job, the effort in being effective in breaking the negative cycle, to the overall empowering of Black youth is a task.