"Black Youth Think!"
Making Good Decisions! -'Rite of Passage Youth Program!'
Brother Takuna Maulana EL Shabazz, a Teacher/Coach of 26 years has experiences dealing with our Black youth that are well known and respected by those who care for our youth daily, particularly those in the teaching profession. His teaching experiences include working 15 years with so-called troubled youth in the juvenile prison system in Baker, LA. The phrase “So called troubled youth” is used because 90 to 95% of the youth that are incarcerated are Black. Over 60% of the Black juveniles are incarcerated for non-violent charges and should not be locked up at all. Nearly 25% of Black juveniles committed non- violent offenses but had a court appointed attorney who in most cases encouraged their clients to plead guilty. Under these circumstances many received excessive sentences for crimes that other wise would have required a fine or minimum jail time. Only a small percentage of our Black youth that are incarcerated in juvenile prisons are there for violent crimes. Therefore, don't believe the hype! We have Good, Strong, Intelligent young Black men and women that are locked up because they made bad decisions in the absence of not having many good ones to chose from. They get locked up for making bad decisions and become criminals while incarcerated. We Must Change That Condition With Efforts Like
"If you cannot reach them - you cannot teach or guide them!" Making the transition from boyhood to manhood or from a girl to a woman is a very dramatic period for many youth. This is particularly true for those Black youth who are lacking a strong family structure for guidance and continuous support. School counselors, churches, social workers and other service oriented organizations and providers cite a multitude of reasons as to why some families are dysfunctional. For the Black poor and disenfranchised the major contributing factors for dysfunctional families appear to stem from oppressive poor economic conditions that have become self-perpetuating, limiting opportunities for upward mobility and self improvement. However, on the end of the day regardless of the reasons for the family dysfunctional circumstances, a teen who is making a transition from adolescence to maturity who is caught up in a dysfunctional family situation will most likely not have all of his or her needs met. Unfortunately, making that Black youth more susceptible to turn to the destructive vices for relief or escape.
'Black YouthThink' is a Rite of Passage Program to help create an environment for Black Youth in particularly, to make better decisions as they transition through the stormy period from childhood to maturity. The central focus of the programs is to help guide the youth in his or her decision-making regarding real life circumstances that may impact them negatively or positively.
Ideally, the program is design to help channel or redirect negative behaviors, that are often spawned from poor self-esteem, self hatred, suppressed rejections and fears, angry, negative peer pressure, and a lack of self knowledge.
'Black YouthThink!' will challenge it's participants to engage in serious and open dialogues on topics regarding peer relationships, personal appearances, drug use and distribution, personal conduct, community violence, history and culture, appropriate dating, art of leadership, respect for self and other, manhood development, womanhood development, self discipline, self determination, self assessment and accountability. This will be achieved through a rigorous curriculum, which includes a series of serious no-nonsense self-mastery lecture presentations, student focus group activities, one on one youth interaction, and youth mentorship.
Desired Outcome …
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