BMe Community Founder Trabian Shorters wants a different dialogue about our future together.
America is undergoing a transition in its views about black males, and their roles in our shared prosperity as a nation. This may be a surprise to some, given well-televised incidents of people clinging to stereotypes and violence, but the data that I will share backs this up.
The question is, what do you believe?
Do you (A) believe that the nation is beset by hooded black thugs against whom we must stand our ground, or do you (B) consider your black male neighbors, friends, co-workers and family to be assets to society like anyone else?
The old politicians, financial institutions and media who cling to belief-A continue to lose elections, trust and market-share because most Americans are willing to see the humanity in all people—including black males.
Consider how closely the percentage of black people, women and millennials who were unhappy with the Zimmerman Verdict in July matches the percentage who have elected a black man to the White House—twice. Shift happens. And it’s not shifting back—because of the Millennials.
The 80+ million of them are the largest generation in US history, and they are coming of age at the exact same time as the Baby Boomers—and Boomer perspectives—are approaching 70-years-old.
Boomers of all races have too-long publicized the faults of black males while ignoring their more common and consistent contributions and achievements.
- Patriotic: Twenty-five percent of black men in America is already a military veteran. No other group serves their country in as high a proportion.
- Aspiring: About 2-million black males have college degrees, and another 1.4-million are in college.
- Enterprising: The percentage of black people who create businesses is growing at more than twice the national average, and 60% of those black entrepreneurs are men.
- Generous: Black households give 25% more of their income to charities than do white households.
Patriotic, aspiring, enterprising and generous are simply more common attributes of black males than the fear-goading loathsome images that are grossly over-indexed in traditional media. We don’t want to ignore the challenges facing black Americans or America itself, but we have to stop ignoring the much more common benefits that black males bring society as well.
I founded BMe Community because I believe that we can have more caring and prosperous communities inspired by black men.
But to do that, we must appreciate them as assets, engage them and their friends of all races and sex on the things that we value in common; and endeavor to “build” together rather than to “fix” each other.
CLICK HERE to pledge to see the good in black men and to share their stories so that others may do the same.
Trabian Shorters is the CEO/Founder of BMe Community and former Vice President, Communities, Knight Foundation
Thanks for reading!