Connect with us

Community

Manhood conference focuses on mentors, power of forgiveness

WAVE NEWSPAPERS — The critical need for male mentors, the importance and power of forgiveness and how to heal from violence and sexual abuse were just a few of the topics discussed April 27 during the third annual Manhood Conference held by the nonprofit Positive Results Corporation. “Our goal is to engage men and boys to increase awareness of dating, domestic violence and sexual assault while being proactive in ways to prevent it,” said Kandee Lewis, executive director of the organization that sponsored the conference at the Douglas F. Dollarhide Community Center.

Published

on

By Shirley Hawkins

COMPTON — The critical need for male mentors, the importance and power of forgiveness and how to heal from violence and sexual abuse were just a few of the topics discussed April 27 during the third annual Manhood Conference held by the nonprofit Positive Results Corporation.

“Our goal is to engage men and boys to increase awareness of dating, domestic violence and sexual assault while being proactive in ways to prevent it,” said Kandee Lewis, executive director of the organization that sponsored the conference at the Douglas F. Dollarhide Community Center.

Boys and young men from the ages of 10 to 24 gathered for a day of talking, listening and healing.

“Big” John Harriell, the keynote speaker and the diversity manager and superintendent for Morrow Meadows, an electrical and data communications contractor, emphasized the importance of fathers. Harriell said that many boys lack a father figure to look up to.

“The absence of a father in the home can be detrimental to a young man or a woman,” he said. “Without that guidance, the children could do things that are counterproductive to themselves, their family and the community.”

Harriell, who grew up in a home filled with domestic violence, said he went down the wrong path as a youth. It was only after he did a stint in prison that he was mentored by other inmates — “father figures” who taught him how to be a provider, protector and leader.

On a Consent, Abuse and Other Conversations panel, featured speakers included community advocate Dustin Baker;Harriell, and Terry Boykins, CEO of Street Positive, a company that assists youth impacted by adverse childhood experiences. Donta Morrison, program manager at APLA Health, served as the moderator.

“How many of you young men have had a conversation about sex?’ Morrison asked the audience. Only a handful of young men raised their hands.

The panelists warned that young men who are not knowledgeable about sex could contract sexually transmitted diseases or be faced with an unwanted pregnancy.

“Please have that conversation with your parents or guardian,” Morrison urged.

Sexual abuse was also a topic of conversation.

“An adult engaging in sexual activities with a child is wrong and needs to be held accountable,” said Boykins, who added that sexual consent should occur between two adults, not with children.

Baker warned youths about predators.

“There are a lot of men who get molested by women like the babysitter,” Baker said. “Or teen boys who are seduced into sexual activity by their teachers.”

Baker shared his own experience.

“I was 15 and I was secretly struggling with my sexuality,” he said. “One day, this adult who was 30 years old and a mentor of mine leaned over and kissed me. I thought, ‘I was dirty, I was wrong.’ I was confused because my sexual identity was still being developed.”

He said he was coerced into embarking into a sexual relationship with the mentor.

“I wanted to instantly go back to being a teen, but I couldn’t,” Baker said.

Morrison confessed that he was also sexually molested at the age of 8.

“I told my father, but he called me a liar,” said Morrison, who was traumatized by the incident. “I didn’t tell anyone else about the abuse until I was 29 years old.”

Morrison added that every day, he tests young men at APLA who are stunned to find out that they are HIV-positive because they didn’t practice safe sex.

A young man raised his hand and asked, “If we’re in school and the principal touches us in a strange way, can they go to jail?”

“That’s a very good question,” said Boykins, who quietly passed the boy’s confession on to probation officers listening in the room.“Young people, if someone is touching you inappropriately, tell an adult you trust. When someone is a predator, you are probably not the first victim he has done it to.”

“Our culture says, ‘Don’t snitch,’” Baker said. “But you have to tell someone if you’ve been sexually molested because the trauma will affect you well into your 30s and 40s.”

“Remember, ‘if someone approaches you sexually, tell them ‘no’ means ‘no,” Harriell said.

The Importance of Mentorship featured Arturo Flores from the Big House,Dillon Iwo, senior field representative for U.S. Rep. Karen Bass; and Torrence Brannon Reese, CEO of F.A.M.L.I., a mentoring program for at-risk youth. The panel was moderated by Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Brent Burton.

“Where can a young person find someone to help them grow and develop?” Burton asked.

“A mentor can be anyone who can provide a level of guidance for you,” Iwo said. “Mentors can be people we aspire to be like in various aspects of our lives.”

“You can find mentors at the Boys and Girls Club or at church,” Flores said.

“It’s not hard to find people for inspiration,” said Flores. “Be tech savvy. You can find or read about mentors on Google, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.”

Reese added that youths can also find mentors in books.

“Books saved my life,” he said. “My mother gave me ‘The Autobiography of Malcolm X’ when I was 10 years old. He and Muhammad Ali became my mentors.”

“If you know someone you admire, be confident enough in yourself to ask them, ‘How do I make it out here?’” Iwo said. “Your mentor could be someone you are connected to spiritually or even in a book.”

“Be the best that you can be and you will attract mentors,” Reese said.

During a break, the room turned lively as the men showed the youths how to properly tie a tie — considered a definitive rite of manhood.

The third panel, Healing and Forgiveness, featured speakers Shontez Williams of Back to the Basics, gang interventionist Ben “Taco” Owens and pastor of Hope in Christ Community Church Ed Robinson.

“I am a survivor,” said Williams, who spent 17 years in prison. “I have to live on for my daughter who was killed by another female. My friends were upset. They told me, ‘Man, somebody should have her killed.’

“But I made calls from prison and told my crew not to touch the young lady or her family,” Williams said. “My healing and forgiveness came when I forgave.”

“My stepfather used to beat my mother,” said Ben Owens III, who was angered by the abuse and joined a gang at an early age. “When I got out of Los Angeles County Jail at 18, I asked myself, ‘Where was my real father when I was going through these challenges?’”

Owens tracked down his father in Alabama and found out that he was mentally disabled.

“I was holding a grudge against him for years that he didn’t have any control over,” Owens said. “I forgave him. That forgiveness changed my life.”

Robinson said that he also grew up in a home filled with domestic violence.

“My father was an alcoholic and he beat my mother. One day he approached her with a butcher knife. But at 13, I was an amateur boxer and I was ready to fight him. When he tried to beat my mother, I said, ‘No, not today.’” He stopped in his tracks.

“I forgave my father,” said Robinson, who forged a strong bond with his dad during the last three years of his life. “Not forgiving someone will destroy you physically,” Robinson said as he poured a sack of rocks on the table.

“We have a choice to release that bondage, pain and hurt or be weighed down with hate and anger for the rest of our lives,” he said, pointing to the rocks.

Sociologist Tre Watkins concluded the conference by holding a “healing circle.”

“Do your best every single day,” he urged the youths. “Repeat these words: ‘I am strong, I am powerful, I am intelligent and I am worthy.’”

“We need men to set examples for us,” said Abel, who stood up to speak. “If you see us young people going down the wrong path, show us how to go down the right one.”

This article originally appeared in the Wave Newspapers

#NNPA BlackPress

FILM: Top 10 Must-See Black documentaries

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Below you will find a list of documentaries, based on the roots of African American culture, compiled by Word in Black partner, The Houston Defender. From “I Am Not Your Negro” to “High on the Hog,” each film offers up the origin stories of our most important activists, artists, athletes and traditions.
The post FILM: Top 10 Must-See Black documentaries first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Published

on

By

By The Houston Defender | Word in Black

The AFRO’s October Special Edition is all about the roots of our culture, our family lineage and the return to old ways and traditions. Below you will find a list of documentaries, based on the roots of African American culture, compiled by our Word in Black partner, The Houston Defender. From I Am Not Your Negro to High on the Hog, each film offers up the origin stories of our most important activists, artists, athletes and traditions.

#10: Attica (2021) 

In September 1971, Attica Prison became the location of one of the largest prison riots in US history, taking place just weeks after revolutionary activist George Jackson was murdered by prison guards at Rikers Island, an act that initiated the birth of Black August and the prison reform movement. The constant abject cruelty and inhumane treatment doled out to the incarcerated (who were overwhelmingly Black and Latinx) by Attica guards (all White) created the context. The riot itself, and its aftermath, are something all human beings should be required to reckon with.

#9: Quincy (2018) 

If you’re Black, it literally doesn’t matter when you were born, what generation you’re a part of, or where you’re from. You’ve been impacted by the genius of Quincy Jones. We’ve all been influenced by the genius of Quincy Jones. The music he made, the albums he produced, the artists he developed, the movies he scored, and about a gazillion other things Jones did, means, as I’ve already said, if you’re Black, Quincy has had a hand in your life. Don’t believe me. What Black person do you know who isn’t a Michael Jackson fan, who hasn’t seen The Wiz, or who doesn’t have a family member who worships jazz music? Quincy Jones had his hand in all that and so much more. Directed by one of his daughters, actress Rashida Jones, this doc is most definitely a must see.

#8: Four Little Girls (1997) 

On Sept. 15, 1963, just 18 short days after the much-celebrated March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed by four members of a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated racist group. Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, four African American girls between the ages of 11 and 14 who had been attending the church’s Sunday school, were killed in the blast, an act of White domestic terrorism that served as a horrific and sober reminder that Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not enough to end the hold the myth of White supremacy had on so many. Director Spike Lee tells this powerfully compelling and important story as only he can.

#7: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke (2019) 

For generations that came after the Baby Boomers, it’s hard for us to fully fathom how big a star Sam Cooke was. Think of the biggest singer of any generation. That was Sam Cooke in his heyday. And not only was he hyper-talented, but not only did he call some of the biggest names in Black history his personal friends (Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X just to name a few), Cooke was a man of the people. And he was heavily invested in the Civil Rights Movement and an advocate for Black self-determination and Black ownership. Cooke even pulled a “Prince” long before Prince—gaining ownership of his own music, something that was as rare then as it is today. This documentary chronicles Cooke’s life, rise to fame, and eventual end, though his influence never died.

#6: Thunder Soul (2010) 

Here’s a hometown entry. Thunder Soul spotlights the extraordinary alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Stage Band which the iconic Conrad Johnson led. These alums return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for the 92-year-old ‘Prof’, their beloved band leader who transformed the schools struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s. This one will have you out of your seat and dancing in the streets. Check it out.

#5: Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (2021)  

In this documentary, criminal defense/civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson “draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America.” It’s that simple, and yet that complex. And it goes without saying; it’s a must see.

#4: Jeen-Yuhs (2022) 

No matter where you score on the Love Ye / Hate Ye scale, this 2022 documentary about his rise to superstardom is beyond compelling. I mean, who thinks to chronicle their every move from the moment they start pursuing their dream until they either give up on it or see it to fruition and beyond? Who does that? No one but this negro Kanye. He may be the only human being with an ego big enough to conceive of such a project. And believe me, the scope and scale of this documentary match that galaxy-sized self-obsession brahman has that make him both insanely talented and just plain insane at the same time.

#3: I Am Not Your Negro (2016) 

This documentary by Raoul Peck, director of Exterminate All the Brutes (2021) which made the first list of must-see documentaries, introduced the brilliance and unabashed Black of James Baldwin to a whole new generation. Described as a work that imagines the completion of Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House (about Baldwin’s personal reflections on and recollections of three of his personal friends who were killed during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), I Am Not Your Negro is about so much more.

#2: The Last Dance (2020) 

You don’t have to be a basketball fan to get caught up in the chronicling of the last run at an NBA championship by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls who had been told before the season began that the team would be broken up. The doc not only takes you on that 1996 Bulls’ championship ride, but it also digs deep into the past of players, coaches, and family members, spotlighting triumphs and tragedies that are part of the human story, not just the story of professional athletes.

#1: High on the Hog 

How African American Cuisine Transformed America (2021)

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for anything that celebrates our history, especially those things that connect us to our African roots and our Pan-African family. This documentary does all that and more. Because the main character is food. Our food. The stuff we grew up on. The meals many of us are eating right now, and never stopped eating since our youth. This beautifully filmed, beautifully narrated piece of art is full of both the familiar and the foreign; or rather, things we’ve come to believe are foreign to us, but are really part of our story and our heritage. And the okra on top? High on the Hog has a powerful H-Town connection. A few, in fact.

This list of documentaries based on the roots of African American culture was compiled by Word In Black.

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades

NNPA NEWSWIRE — According to internal VA data obtained by the Washington Post, Black applicants seeking disability benefits were denied 30 percent of the time from 2002 to 2020. White applicants were denied 24 percent of the time.
The post Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Published

on

By

Black Information Network | Atlanta Daily World

A new lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) alleges that the U.S. government discriminated against Black veterans for decades.

On Monday (November 28), the suit was filed by Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic (VLSC) on behalf of Vietnam War veteran Conley Monk Jr, whose applications for education, housing, and disability benefits have been denied since he returned home from the war, per The Hill.

According to the suit, discrimination by the VA has left Black veterans without benefits more frequently than their white counterparts.

Yale’s VLSC said the lawsuit could “provide a legal pathway for Black veterans to seek reparations from the VA.”

“This lawsuit seeks to hold the VA accountable for years of discriminatory conduct,” Adam Henderson, a law student working with the VLSC on the case, said in a statement, per the Hill.

“VA leaders knew, or should have known, that they were administering benefits in a discriminatory manner, yet they failed to address this unlawful bias,” Henderson added. “Mr. Monk — and thousands of Black veterans like him — deserve redress for the harms caused by these negligently administered programs.”

According to internal VA data obtained by the Washington Post, Black applicants seeking disability benefits were denied 30 percent of the time from 2002 to 2020. White applicants were denied 24 percent of the time.

VA press secretary Terrence Hayes said the agency is working to combat “institutional racism.”

“Throughout history, there have been unacceptable disparities in both VA benefits decisions and military discharge status due to racism, which have wrongly left Black veterans without access to VA care and benefits,” Hayes said. “We are actively working to right these wrongs.”

The post U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans For Decades: Lawsuit appeared first on Atlanta Daily World.

The post Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Through colorful pictures with vibrant imagery, young readers will easily get drawn into the exciting adventures of Bennett Mayco Wilson’s fictional yet exciting world and learn valuable childhood lessons together, when Bennet gets a basketball as a present from his father on his fourth birthday.
The post BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Published

on

By

‘A Basketball Hero is Born’ is a part of The Hero Book Series by Jerald LeVon Hoover, which aims to inspire youth to make a positive change in their communities and the world in general

Widely celebrated African American author, Jerald LeVon Hoover, is once again inspiring young people to make a positive change in their communities with the launch of a new children’s book. Titled A Basketball Hero is Born, the new children’s reading book contains colorful pictures that warm the heart and keep young readers glued to its pages.

The plot follows the exciting adventures of Bennett Mayco Wilson who gets a basketball as a present from his father on his fourth birthday. Affectionately naming the new basketball “Lucky,” the story unfolds as young Bennett tries to take his new best friend everywhere, including the dinner table, to school, and to bed when it is time for sleep.

Jerald L. Hoover

Jerald L. Hoover

Through colorful pictures with vibrant imagery, young readers will easily get drawn into Bennett’s fictional yet exciting world and learn valuable childhood lessons together. Currently available for purchase on Amazon, A Basketball Hero is Born is a part of The Hero Book Series by Jerald LeVon Hoover, which emphasizes instilling a love of sports and friendship in young readers.

About The Author

Jerald L. Hoover is a multi-talented individual with countless accomplishments in the creative, literary, and entertainment worlds. After winning an award for “The Best New Male Writer of the Year” for his fictional novel, My Friend, My Hero Jerald went on to be listed from 1994 – 1996 as a best-selling author among young Black writers in various African American publications. In 1995, he was awarded the Writers Corp Award by then-President Bill Clinton. In 1998, Jerald was inducted into the Mount Vernon Boy’s and Girl’s Club Hall of Fame. Since then, Jerald has won several other awards and is also an in-demand motivational speaker who overcame a childhood speech impediment.

The post BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending