Sunday, March 8, 2009

Let's Hear it for the Boyz

Let's Hear it for the Boyz:
The Need for Black Male Empowerment

Paul Scott

For the last 10 years, Radio One has sponsored an event in Raleigh NC called, "Women's Empowerment," where sistas from across the country gather to discuss everything from baby's daddy drama to gettin' their hair and nails "did."

So every year, socially conscious brothas, like myself, play the Left out Lamont" role. We always find ourselves asking,

"What about us? Can the bothas get some empowerment out of this piece?"

Don't get me wrong. I think that black women gettin' empowered is a beautiful thing and since it happens around NCAA basketball championship time it gives the fellas a whole day of peace and quiet.

But as I look around my community where black men darn near 30 are still walking around with their pants saggin' sippin' on 40 ounces...If anyone needs some motivation, it's us.

Although, conventional wisdom seems to say that black men will not show up for any event that doesn't involve some woman slidin' down a pole or a dude shootin' a ball in a hoop, history paints a different picture.

I am sure that those weren't all women who showed up by the thousands at Marcus Garvey's rallies back in the 1920's. And didn't well over a million black men show up in Washington DC just over 10 years ago?

So, black men will show up for a worthy cause. As the old saying goes, "build it and they will come."

This begs the question, couldn't somebody rub a few nickles together and have a Male Empowerment meeting once a year?

And I'm not talkin' about some Dr. Phil type action where brothas sit around rappin' about self esteem issues. I'm talking about real issues facing African American men socially, politically and economically.

It seems pretty simple, they could rent a venue and hire someone to speak like lil Wayne...

Um.. scratch that...

They could get somebody like Professor Griff to keynote.

Maybe, the failure to do so has something to do with the historical fear of more than two black men gathering in the same place.

Not to say that we would turn such an event into an insurrection but as the old heads would say the issue of "how to get the white man's foot off of our collective necks" would be the topic of at least one of the panels.

Perhaps the moral of the story is that it should not be left up to corporate sponsors to put on a Black Male Empowerment meeting. Maybe this great exercise in black male bonding should take place every day in hoods across America.

After all, that is the place where empowerment is needed the most.

Isn't it?

Paul Scott, the "TRUTH Minista" writes for "No Warning Shots" He can be reached at (919) 451-8283