Let’s do better!!!

African American men between the ages of 15 and 35, a group that represents less than 5 percent of the overall U.S. population, account for upwards of 50% of the prison inmates (Pettit and Western 2004). Pettit and Western put it thus:
More strikingly than patterns of military enlistment,
marriage or college graduation, prison time
differentiates the young adulthood of black men
from the life course of white males. Imprisonment is
now a common life event for an entire demographic
Since 1989 and for the first time in national history, African Americans make up a majority of those entering prison each year. Indeed, in four short decades, the ethnic composition of the U.S. inmate population has reversed, turning over from 70 percent White at mid-century to nearly 70 percent African American and Latino today, although ethnic patterns of criminal activity have not fundamentally changed during that period. As a result of this racial transformation, today, 50% of all incarcerated Americans are African American men. In total, more than 1.2 million African American men are currently incarcerated, and their lifetime rate of incarceration is significantly greater than any other demographic group. In fact, one out of three African American men (compared to one in ten White men) will serve time in prison during his lifetime.

The incarceration of approximately a million African American men is more important now than ever before. Why? Because the incarceration of a million African American men has decimated African American families and entire communities as they are systematically bled of capital.




All children have a right to:
Love and security
Healthy food to eat
A decent place to live
Adequate medical care
Be protected from abuse
Good education
Our rights=Our Future


Show ’em better than we can tell ’em!!

Let’s demonstrate how to dress for an interview, tie a tie, learn a trade, take their business mind and shape it. Let’s show them how to speak properly, mentor men and women, show them some positive attention..All behavior, good or bad, is learned.. It’s the company that you keep that will determine your growth..Success is infectious…Get around some people who are going somewhere, it will rub off on them, as long as individuals keep staying around folks who aren’t moving or progressing, there’s no growth..we need to shape their mental models..
Mental models are “deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world, and how we take action.” We are not aware of the existing mental models in our lives. We are not consciously in tune with how our mental models affect our behaviors. We say and do things unconsciously.
it’s time to do an about face and “rebuild this.”
We will gather and have round table discussions about these issues..People of color need to talk and have dialogue and stop sweeping things under the rug. We want to expose and talk about these issues, the “nesses” such as “ratchetness”, and fatherlessness, daddy less daughters who are looking for love and affection, the impact of incarceration on our children, how a criminal record impacts you, how to obtain and maintain a job, the Prison Industrial Complex, how to pay bills, how to get life insurance, resume writing, interviewing skills, single fathers who want to get their kids but don’t have a home plan due to not having a place to stay upon release, etc…this is what “The 180” attempts to bring awareness to these issues.


Condition of Men

Some of this is from my personal research for my thesis, and some is from personal experience.
Let’s connect, DADDY Project of York!!

One thing we have to do as men is accept the truth about the condition of our fellow brothers in our society. Behavior, good or bad, is LEARNED. A father isn’t born to abandon his children. But it’s a learned behavior.

One of my favorite journalists, the late, great, William Raspberry stated:

“It isn’t the incompetence of mothers of children of color that is at issue, but the absence of half of the adult support needed for families to be most effective.”

This quote had me thinking all day about the state of our fathers and families in our communities.

It’s sad to be so numb toward “Daddy” not being around that we are ok with him not being around. It’s become a norm of the culture. A dysfunctional norm that needs to be reversed. When has it ever been “ok” for Dad not to be in the home?
Now for the question we have been asking for the longest time.
Where are the fathers? Why do some fathers get a pass, and moms are left holding the bag? It’s not all their fault. There are many factors leading to fatherlessness, and I’ll touch on a few points here.

To simplify this in terms that we can understand, I will use the number 10. It’s the perfect group number.

1. 70 percent are in prison, so that’s 7 out of 10 men. Off the bat, 70 percent.. Before we even address the issue of fatherlessness, 7 are gone. Able-bodied, strong, men. Many men are doing a life term in prison on a layaway plan. 8 years here, 6 years there, 25 years there, 10
years there, 15 here. Before you realize it, you have wasted your life away behind bars.

You remove the men, and you can have your way with the wife and children. Slavemasters did it during the European enslavement of people of color. Separation of families. Divide and conquer. You are raising a big family with your husband, and one day he gets sold off to a plantation far, far away, forever cut off. His last name will changes. Whatever identity he had becomes non-existent.
Identity isn’t given, it’s developed through affirmation, acknowledgement, a strong system and structure.
So that leaves 3 men. A big, gaping hole for the soul. 70 percent loss!!! Ask a businessman if he can operate at 30 percent capacity? Not happening…

2. The emotionally-absent father. It’s a common complaint.
“My husband is just so passive.”
“He feels his job is to make money, and then he’s entitled to do what he wants when he gets home.”
“It’s whatever. I don’t care what you do.” Check his back. He may be spineless…No backbone.
“He rarely gets involved with the kids—all he wants to do is hunt, fish, and watch television in the “man cave.”
Dad is there physically, but his head is somewhere else. In the “nothing box.” I like to visit the “nothing box.”, but we need to learn how to come out of the box. There’s nothing wrong with working hard, but give some attention to your children.

The physically absent father. Going around repopulating the Earth, “sowing the oats”. The proverbial “rolling stone.” Stopping by at Christmas-time, always gone…and a new sibling is born by September.
In the 1970’s, Welfare became the “father.” It provided, food, shelter, and clothing, and the more children you had, the more benefits increased. Thus, the term “the no man in the house rule.” If a man was found to be residing in the home of a recipient of services, those services were terminated until he left. Welfare became Daddy and never left.

Now out of ten men, we are down to ONE.
God always had one who is doing what they’re supposed to. Noah built the ark, on direct orders from God. Even though the world called him stupid, be still kept focus.
When the rain and floods came, it was too late.
The focus has left our men. We cannot continue to irresponsibly place our privy member into everything walking, talking, smiling, and swiveling down the street. If you do get in a situation where you have a child on the way, start thinking about how you will secure your rights to the womb, because it will be more than 18 years of payments.
Another sad observation is that many men will learn how to be fathers ON THEIR OWN. They will grow up, misguided, misinformed, and live by trial and error. I learned that way.

Some adults are present-time thinkers, as teenagers are. “It’s all about me right now!”
They think about the here and now, not 5 minutes from now, or a day from now. It’s all about the moment. Satisfy me now, and I’ll worry about the consequence later on. Not a good look.

So we have eliminated 9 men out of our group of 10. Statistics out of our small experiment say that one man out of ten will be doing the job. Fatherlessness is such a crisis in our country, our communities. One out of 10 is not good. Out of 10 men, one has to hold up the banner.
Sadly, out of 10 men, 7 will be locked up, 1 will be emotionally absent, 1 will be physically absent and ONE father, just ONE will be on his job.

Let’s go DADS!! It’s time to reclaim our sons. It’s always a good time, and the time is NOW. Pray for them to come home. I would like to think they were away fighting in Afghanistan, but the reality is, they aren’t. I heard a parent say that before to her son, that Daddy was away fighting a war, when in fact, he was upstate doing 8 to 20.
Project 180
Lancaster, PA


25 Manners Every Kid Needs by Age 9



This post has generated a lot of buzz in the past year and I am so excited for all the traffic it has brought to my blog. I never imagined that so many people would not only read my blog, but find it and share it!

Please be kind in your replies to this post. You are totally (and I welcome!) allowed to write your honest opinion in comments, but let’s remember to be kind. Attacking me is not going to change my post or have me take it down. (trust me, I’ve gotten both demands!)

Finally, this article originally appeared in the March 2011 edition of Parents magazine. I do not own and did not create this list of manners (although I wish I had!)…I just merely posted them on my blog to share with the 5 followers I had at the time.

Please enjoy and comment if you’d…

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