Hanging with your boys doesn’t make you a man

Published 6:14 am Saturday, April 15, 2006

By Staff
I know that I am breaking an unspoken rule. However, for my community, I feel moved to write this letter to you concerning many of our young African American men and boys in this community and many communities around the country.
I am really distressed at this particular moment. Summer is just around the corner and many of the City of Niles young African American men seem to have no direction. I really wish I could explain how badly this situation distresses me.
I am concerned about the young African American men and boys who walk the streets in packs, hang on corners and present themselves as a threat to others.
I have witnessed behavior that really makes me upset. I wish our young men understood that this is not what our African American leaders died for. Many have put their lives on the line so that African Americans could vote, have equal religious preferences, equal education, equal job opportunities and many other equalities.
Many have died to make our lives better. Look at yourselves. In five years, where will you be?
Parents, hello? Where are you? There is no reason why 20 to 30 young men and boys are walking the streets at all times of the day and night picking and choosing who to jump. They are cursing and holding down almost every corner from Fifth to Ninth streets.
I don't understand how the ratio of 30 to 3 or 4 makes you big and bad. To me, it spells COWARD.
Real men stand on honor even if they have to stand alone. Real men go to school. Real men respect their elders. Real men work real jobs to earn their keep. Real men take care of their families.
Calling all REAL men! No one cares if you die young except for your mothers. Don't you get it? Man up, and be the men that you have been given the opportunities to be. This is a huge world, full of so many great and wonderful things. There is more to life than this small community.
Sunday is Easter, the day we recognize Jesus rising from the grave to claim all power over sin and death. Jesus died so that all could be saved from hell. Everyone has an opportunity to acknowledge Him, believe, repent and accept the gift of salvation.
African American young men, accept your resurrection and claim what God has prepared for us all. The wide road leads to places that you will have to go alone.
The narrow road leads to salvation. And remember, on judgment day you will not be able to bring your boys! Which one will you choose?
Comments? tracy.haines@leaderpub.com