Thursday, October 22, 2009

Role Model

Not ideal but at least they tried

In today's society where only 3 out of 100 black males entering kindergarten will graduate from
college it's imperative that we as individuals do all that we can to buck this trend.
Every 5 seconds during the school day, a black public school student is suspended. Every 46 seconds during the school day, a black high school student drops out. Those of us that have achieved higher education and have "made something" of ourselves have a responsibility to lift as we climb and become bridge builders for our youth. If we don't then I fear that blacks in America, especially black males, will become a lost cause.


An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim-
That sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned, when he reached the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,
"You are wasting strength in building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way.
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head.
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for


We must not only think of ourselves but those who will come behind us. In this day and age there are so many pitfalls that can trip the youth in their journey to becoming successful and well rounded adults. I'm not going to be the one to blame BET, entertainers or movies for this. Growing up I watched a lot of violence on television and I listened to a lot of rap music. I believe that I turned out the way I did because I had plenty of positive role models in my life that taught me the value of getting a good education and living life on the straight and narrow. These role models weren't just my parents, they were teachers, coaches and parents of friends.
My mission to you is think about what you can do to help someone who may or may not have been in your shoes. If you already have and are doing what you can to help the cause then kudos to you.
National Center for Education Statistics. (2001). The Condition of Education,
2001. U.S. Department of Education.

U.S. Department of Education. (1999). Hope for Urban Education: A Study of
Nine High-Performing, High-Poverty, Urban Elementary Schools. U.S. Department of


  1. I have been thinking about this for a while now. It is always funny to have to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself the tough questions: Are we doing enough? Am I doing enough? Is there something I can do? The answers would be No, No, and Yes. If we save one, we are doing more than we were before.

    Good Post Tunde

  2. We should all make a point to help out someone who may want to follow in our footsteps. The problem in our communities is we rarely have the opportunity to see it; thus it's hard to believe it. Exposure is everything; once kids are exposed to positive role models they have a much better chance at succeeding.

  3. Excellent post my friend!

    There is something that we all can do to buck the trend as you stated. Whether it is something big or small we need to do something. Actions speak very loudly! A lot of times we acknowledge that there is a problem, but we make excuses when it comes time for action like "I don't have time" or "my contribution will not make that big of a difference."

    We all need to step up and carry our share of the load. Thanks for the reminder Tunde!

  4. There is so much we can do...Like it has been stated over and over, every little bit counts/helps. Big Brother / Sister Programs, Student outreach, Church; and even taking the time out to pay attention to the needs of a nieghbor or young black male we encounter on a constant basis. They look at us, and will remember the positivity.