The Plight of Young Black Males in America

I read with anguish William Raspberry's commentary "When Manhood Is Taught on the Streets" (Aug. 28). My initial reaction was simply, here we go again . . "We have searched for the Enemy and have found . . . he is us."

Here is an African-American discussing the plight of young black males negatively. Can it be that there are no positives to being African-American in America or along the diaspora in the world today?

As one of the so-called "black boys" reared in a one-parent household, perhaps it is irrelevant that I also hold a college degree, can do calculus (as if calculus is the measure of a man or quality of one's education) and have read Willie Shakespeare and Nate Hawthorne.

No one wishes to substitute the so-called classics for African-American literature. It is not necessary to justify African-American literature by some Eurocentric value statement that "White is right." What is important is that African-Americans in America, of all ages and educational levels, learn that Africans came before Columbus, that the destruction of black civilization is not a myth.

Nowhere is Raspberry more off base than on the subject of African-American family. Are "black boys" supposed to sit quietly and passively on the sidelines as the world turns about them? I think not.

What is needed? African-Americans can learn whatever is taught. Education is a self-serving process. One can only regurgitate what is taught, when tested.

There are positive role models for African-American males. We just need to recognize them.

HENRY A. ALVAREZ III

Lemon Grove

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