Sunday, January 27, 2008

Durham's "10" Black Men

A few weeks ago Cimerron Bandele, head of the African Diasporin Nationalist Society, made a call to the community for a "No Excuse Day", to have 10 Black men show up to aid the Durham NC community.

Despite chilly weather, on January 26, they did just that.

Yesterday, in front of the Know Bookstore on Fayetteville Street, more than 20 men lined the sidewalk holding red, black and green flags and banners with a common theme.

"It's time for Black men to stand up!

The reason for the name "10" Black men is because the group feels that if only 10 strong, dedicated Black men would just get off the couch and turn off the football game, they could make positive changes in Durham,

For those who are not from the "Bull City," for more than a decade, Durham has been given a bad rap. Although, the city was once known as "Black Wall Street," Durham is mostly known, nationally, today for gang bangin'.

While Durham, like many cities, does have its share of youth violence, much of what you see and hear about the city has more to do with the media hype of news producers who have watched "Boys in the Hood" too many times than what is really going on in the streets.

The problem of "Dirty Durham" is more like a self fulfilling prophecy courtesy of national news documentaries that try to portray the city as the Compton of the South.

While some may point to Hip Hop as the reason for the rapid spread of "gangsta-ism" throughout smaller cities, in Durham, the "culture was spread more by newspaper headlines featuring black males throwin' up gang signs than rapper, Ice Cube.

But whatever the cause, we now have a problem; one that needs to be corrected. A correction that will come by way of intervention and education instead of "pointing the finger" and incarceration.

Enter the 10 Black Men.

The group was well received by the Durham community as many of those who rode by either honked their horns in support or raised the Black Power Fist out of their windows.

The "10" made it known that this is just the beginning and other events are soon coming, including a town meeting scheduled for February 9th.

I guess the feelings of the residents of the Fayetteville St. neighborhood to the sight of a group of strong Black men standing up to take control of their city can be summed up by the words of one elderly sister touched by the sight who could only smile and say repeatedly...

"To God be the glory."

Amen, Sister..Amen

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