By Phillip Jackson The previous generation of young Black males was destroyed between 1985 and 2005. No amount of crying, cursing or hand-wringing can change this because that generation is gone! We need only walk down any city street in almost any predominantly African American community to see residue of the broken lives -- millions of young Black men nationwide. Few people spoke out effectively and even fewer engaged in actions to prevent this silent genocide. The mass destruction of Black American males has been effectively ignored by almost everybody—the government, the media and most of the philanthropic community. Even most of our Black churches and Black communities still stand by and watch the horrific loss of our young Black men. The resulting negative educational, social, spiritual and economic impact of a generation of Black males’ shattered lives is also ultimately a devastating loss to our entire society. Of course, every single young Black man will not be lost, but here are the facts: Only 2.5 out of 100 of the 102,000 Black males in Chicago public schools are projected to graduate from college by age 25 with at least a bachelors degree (From High School to the Future, Consortium on Chicago School Research, University of Chicago 2006). And only 19 percent of Black males in Indianapolis and 20 percent in Detroit even graduated from high school in 2006 (Given Half a Chance: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males, The Schott Foundation for Public Education). Testimony before the U.S. Congressional Joint Economic Committee in 2007 revealed that only 50 percent of Black men in New York City were employed and that, nationally, 72 percent of Black male high school dropouts were unemployed. Recent crime data from Youngstown, Ohio, a city with a 44 percent Black population, showed that young Black men between 15 and 25 years old were either perpetrators or victims of 90 percent of Youngstown’s murders. In 2008, Chicago had more than 500 murders, mostly of young Black and Latino men. The Justice Policy Institute predicts that one out of three Black males born after 2001 will spend time incarcerated. All of these statistics, representing the general condition of young Black men in America today, forecast an abysmal future for Black America. These inexcusable catastrophic outcomes constitute an unnatural disaster. Black America, along with all of America, pays dearly for its collective ineptitude and willful neglect of the nurturing, mentoring, educating, developing and saving of young Black men. No plausible justification exists for a country as great as America to lose another generation of Black youth. Ask yourself: Who are young Black women going to marry? Who will be good fathers to tens of millions of Black children? Who will build and maintain the economies of Black communities? Who will be the anchor upon which to build strong families in the Black community? Who will young Black boys emulate as they grow into men? Will Black America be a viable and valuable community in 20 years? Or is the better question: Who cares? Will the election of America’s first Black male president cleanse its conscience for destroying a past generation and absolve it of guilt for annihilating the next generation of young Black males? What a cruel hoax to believe that if a Black man can become president, then Black men do not have problems that America is obligated to address. Yet Black America cannot trade one Black man in the White House for the million-plus Black men languishing in American jail houses and millions of Black boys failing in American school houses. In the absence of broad public policy ushering in comprehensive systemic changes, future generations of young Black males are destined to continue destroying themselves, their families and their communities. American social, economic and governmental systems have greatly contributed to the destruction of young Black men who have, in turn, become weapons of mass destruction against Black American communities. All the while America continues its moral high-ground façade concerning international human rights. Those voices who call for Black men to “step up and be men” are not only wasting their breath but are also part of a seemingly intractable problem. Correcting the issues of Black men will require a comprehensively structured, sufficiently financed, professionally managed, ethically led and committed multi-pronged effort to systemically address and shift the cascading negative outcomes for Black men and boys. The real shame of this catastrophe is not that America can’t save young Black males; it is that America won’t save young Black males! The resources required are miniscule compared to recent governmental bailouts and expenditures. Saving young Black males is an investment in America! It is as much a spiritual battle as it is a physical and emotional battle. A successful effort to save young Black males must also address habits, attitudes and behaviors that have pushed Black men to the precipice of irrelevance, obsolescence and nonexistence. To date, precious little is in place to stop the on-going destruction and annihilation of young Black males. Phillip Jackson, Founder and Executive Director The Black Star Project 3473 South King Drive, Box 464 Chicago, Illinois 60616 773.285.9600 or email at January 3, 2009
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  • Chicago-Midwest
    One of the major causes in regards to the extinction of black boys is the failed , weak and ineffective strategy of Phillip Jackson, Founder and Executive Director of The Black Star Project.

    Sincerely, Enoch Mubarak
  • Chicago-Midwest
    I would be remised not clarify my statement and assertion that:One of the major causes for the extinction of black boys is the failed , weak and ineffective strategy of Phillip Jackson, Founder and Executive Director of The Black Star Project.

    I present the following message to represent the logic, premise and rationale for my statement.

    Black organizations and black minister/leaders have failed to demonstrate any role model behaviors, intellectual evolution or progressive thoughts accumulating into action.

    African American institutions, black politicians and black minister leaders are either missing in action or grandstanding behind empty rhetoric. The above mentioned entities do absolutely nothing to salvage our black boys but whine, moan, complain and wait for someone one else to fix the problem.

    Grown black men such as Phillip Jackson, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Sen. James Meeks, Bishop Larry Trotter from Chicago, Bishop Eddie long from Georgia, along with faith based ministers are the reason black boys have become violent and extinct.

    The leaders and institutions of today lack vision, insight and courage. They can't relate to the young black youth of today because they are old, obsolete, seriously out of touch and are afraid of young black boys.

    I challenge black organizations to round up black men over 30 that are computer literate enough to entertain or capture the interest of today's black boys by operating and engaging a young black boy on a PlayStation or Xbox game console.

    It can't be done because the young black boys I speak of were born in the era of MTV and computers while the leaders and leadership of today are still stuck on a dead, decayed and fossilized civil right vine. Our guardians and Shepard's out of fear have also sold the futures of young black boys in exchange for publicity, grandstanding and faith based government welfare.

    African American Institutions such as The Black Star Project, Du Sable Museum, Operation Push, the National Urban League and the N.A.A.C.P are either in hiding or void of any progressive initiatives that can or will encourage young black boys to face life with the courage and confidence they need to feel secure within themselves.

    African American Institutions such as The Black Star Project, Du Sable Museum, Operation Push, the National Urban League and the N.A.A.C.P believe that holding press conferences, seminars and charitable give aways will be publicly perceived and construed as evidence of a valid effort to salvage our young black boys.

    African American institutions, black politicians and black minister leaders cry out because the black youth have no role models but yet they don't exercise, read nor do they present themselves as role models nor do they possess a commanding aura.

    The Black Star Project seeks 100 men to read to young black boys but yet they themselves can't or don't read. The Black Star project heralded with fanfare their strategy to create role models for young boys by devising a "fathers walk your son to school day"

    Senator/Rev.Sen James Meeks from Chicago announced in a televised speech that his church's mission was accomplished because they had created volunteer services and giveaways including creating a "basketball team" for young boys while lamenting in the same breath that young boys needs to know more than how to play basketball.

    Bishop Eddie Long despite his mega church and enormous membership sits deathly quiet while the South targets young black boys for lock down.

    In Chicago Bishop Larry trotter in his response to a black 16 year old boy getting shot to death on Chicago transit bus rides on the bus the next day protesting by singing slave songs along the bus route.

    We have African American institutions, black politicians and black minister leaders blaming the government, parents, schools and anybody else they can point a finger for the extinction of black boys while they grandstand and perpetrate as role models behind their pulpits with their stomachs hanging out, slouching, limping and totally out of shape.

    In order to show a young black boy that you value education you must be willing to let him show you what he knows. Take an interest in what he enjoys doing and he will educate you to the world you live in and not the world you grew up in.

    We have failed our young boys unto extinction. We have left them no businesses to inherit, no trust funds to ease their path or no legacy to be proud of. The grown black men and black fathers are the ones that went to prison first and by doing so paved the way for our young black men to join them.

    Long before women degrading rap music was prevalent we had grown black men glorifying pimping. We took our young black boys to the theater to see Super Fly, The Mack, Trick Baby and other movies that portrayed black men as sissies, drug dealers, pimps, cowards, snitches and abusers. We left the theater telling our sons' that it was a good movie. We recommended the movies to others.

    Children put their emphasis on what they see their parents put theirs in. If the parent is forever chasing money trying to get paid so shall the child chase money trying to be paid. If the child see the parent constantly reading, writing, producing and learning so will the child imitate and emulate.

    If the daughter grows up to be a woman of loose morals they will blame the mother for exposing the child to that life when she was young. If the father is a beer drinking woman abuser then his son will in all likely hood become a drinker and woman domineering man.

    In biblical terms the head of the woman is the man and the head of man is God therefore the woman can not be held accountable when the black men was initially given the law. The black man has failed his responsibility to his black woman and his black children and especially to his black son.

    If the parents objections of being indicted for negligence are correct, right and justified and if black parents claim that they did the best they could under the circumstances present and provided but yet the truth of the matter remains the same that young black boys are extinct then it should stand to reason that the extinction of black boys would have had to occur outside of the home and jurisdiction of the parents.

    In some earlier replies some of you showed compassion for the guardians and shepard's of yester-year. Black/minister leaders and institutions deserve none of your passion because these men knowingly, willfully and with intent accepted the position and title of Shepard and overlord to the people.

    They agreed to accept the challenge to represent black people in the halls of power. They accepted the position to speak with authority on the State of Black America. There is nothing to applaud when the Shepard has failed his sheep. There is no applauds for a black America Covenant conceived out of fear, born of ignorance,delivered on a dead end premise and presented D.O.A to 38 million desperate African Americans.

    Jesse Jackson, Bishop Larry trotter and Rev James Meeks accepted the responsibility to represent 38 million African Americans and failed. There no applause for failures and grand-standers.

    The black women are the only ones holding the black family together as they wait on borrowed time for the black man and organizational grand-standers to negotiate legislation that gives African Americans parity on the playing field of life.

    When we elected or chose them they said they could do it. They said they would do it. They haven't done it.

    We elect Senators,and state representatives to go to Washington and Springfield to negotiate with the power hitters and decision makers but every time you look around they are back in the neighborhood admonishing black parents, marching, complaining, demanding or micro managing city hall.

    They don't deserve an applause for being in the neighborhood when they are suppose to be in the halls of power seeking relief and assistance to the parents back in the neighbor hoods and communities trying to keep the lid on a deteriorating situation until help in the form of legislation negotiated by our black leaders arrive.

    Every black man sent to represent black people in the halls of power comes back empty handed, tail between his legs claiming and professing to be a born again minister.

    In a game of life and death second place makes us the first losers.

    Enoch Mubarak
    President & CEO Mubarak Inter-prizes

    Subject: RE: [TheBlackList] Under the Reign of the First Black President, Will America Lose Another Generation of Black Males?
    Date: Jan 11, 2009 12:08 AM

    Makemba X,

    You are correct.

    I did not successfully convey my thought.

    I meant to say that "only" asking Black men to man up is a waste of breath.

    You are right. Black men must become more responsible and more accountable.

    And strong voices like yours must speak out to ensure that this happens.

    Thank you for holding me accountable.

    Phillip Jackson

    From: Makemba X
    Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2009 3:05 PM

    Subject: RE: [TheBlackList] Under the Reign of the First Black President, Will America Lose Another Generation of Black Males?

    I want to thank Mr. Jackson for his very potent and prescience analysis. And for the most part I agree wholeheartedly with what he says. However I disagree when he writes:

    Those voices who call for Black men to step up and be men are not only wasting their breath but are also part of a seemingly intractable problem. Correcting the issues of Black men will require a comprehensively structured, sufficiently financed, professionally managed, ethically led and committed multi-pronged effort to systemically address and shift the cascading negative outcomes for Black men and boys . . .

    To the contrary, the voices calling for Black men (and Black women for that matter) to "step up" are essential to our movement and to our empowerment. And whether these voices be professional or whether they be that struggling person on the corner without a residence, all are necessary. This country has NEVER been on our side and has NEVER willingly provided for us in any way. Chattel slavery ended when Black Africans forced it to end (although I contend that we have never been completely freed from the vestiges of enslavement and White oppression). The gains of the Civil Rights movement happened when we forced it to happen.

    Yes, there must be a multi prong approach to the problems facing our Black male youth and our Black communities as a whole. And yes, this government should be and must be made to be held accountable and this system of perpetual oppression must be dismantled. However, we can not rely on our oppressor for our deliverance. That can only come from us.

    If I have misunderstood what he meant in any way I welcome corrections. And again, I thank him for bringing these concerns forward and for framing this powerful question in the time of the Obama presidency.

    Lisa V. Davis
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