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Forward Promise: Disrupting Dehumanization and Affirming the Humanity of BYMOC and Their Villages

November 1, 2019

Dehumanization is the cause of generations of historical trauma. The cycle begins with negative narratives that label people of color—particularly boys and young men—violent, criminal, and animalistic. To combat the perceived threat, dangerous actions are taken by the majority culture and systems which further dehumanize BYMOC. As a result, BYMOC and their villages often hold harmful internal feelings of unworthiness taught by their oppressors. It is not uncommon for them to engage in various forms of self-harm or to harm others. These destructive external reactions are not explained as normal responses to trauma. Stories of their negative reactions become justification for more negative narratives and the cycle begins again

Boys and Men of Color; Identity

Conversations About Masculinity: How Mentors Can Support Young Men of Color - "We Need to Prove How Strong We Are All of the Time"

January 1, 2019

This guide provides practical tips to support the development of relationships that encourage young men to explore expressions of masculinity to serve healthy decision making, self-development, and care for others. 

Boys and Men of Color; Identity

Beyond Plight: Defining Pathways to Optimal Development for Black Men and Boys Across the Life Course

January 1, 2017

Beyond Plight: Defining Pathways to Optimal Development for Black Men and Boys across the Life Course is ABFE's contribution for creating better lives for us, and, by extension, our world. It is a long title, which challenges us to look beyond quick solutions. The observations and recommendations within Beyond Plight were based upon input from funders and practitioners who have invested resources and brain power into better outcomes for Black men and boys – some for their entire professional careers. We connected with key thought leaders, whose names you find on page three. These are people who have been committed to this work for some time and even invoke their lived & shared experiences – this isn't theory. It also continues the work of practitioners who looked into the early childhood aspects of optimal development, through our previously released report, titled, "Exceeding Expectations: A Shared Vision for Impact and Definitions of Success for Black Men and Boys".

Identity; Philanthropy

On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites Are Worlds Apart

June 27, 2016

Almost eight years after Barack Obama's election as the nation's first black president –an event that engendered a sense of optimism among many Americans about the future of race relations – a series of flashpoints around the U.S. has exposed deep racial divides and reignited a national conversation about race. A new Pew Research Center survey finds profound differences between black and white adults in their views on racial discrimination, barriers to black progress and the prospects for change. Blacks, far more than whites, say black people are treated unfairly across different realms of life, from dealing with the police to applying for a loan or mortgage. And, for many blacks, racial equality remains an elusive goal.


Starting Young: Emergent Black Masculinity and Early Literacy

April 1, 2015

With the goal of understanding and improving Black male literacy to help Black males thrive and excel, this study explores masculine practices of literacy in a group of first and second grade students. The authors found that the young Black males demonstrated an understanding of linguistic complexities in both literary texts and social interactions. Students engaged in multiple expressions of Black masculine literacy. While all of these expressions served a functional purpose, only some of the expressions of Black masculine literacy, especially expressions of alternative masculinities that did not conform to social norms, were linked to academic achievement.

Education; Identity

The Black Sonrise: Oakland Unified School District's Commitment to Address and Eliminate Institutionalized Racism

December 1, 2014

This report is the first in a series that examines the work of the Office of African American Male Achievement. This stage of analysis examines the Manhood Development Program, from its inception in 2010 to its current practices and future goals. The Manhood Development Program is a daily elective course during the school day taught by African American males that engages, encourages, and empowers African American male students.

Education; Identity

Kindling the Spark of Black Male Genius through Education

September 1, 2014

This essay examines the nature of inopportunity associated with blackmaleness, synthesizes the narratives of the other contributors to this issue of the journal, and offers recommendations for how education can support Black males' academic, social, and cultural maturation. While African American males face daunting economic and educational challenges, James and Lewis argue that they can navigate through them to obtain academic and career success while still maintaining their identity as Black males.

Boys and Men of Color; Education; Identity

Guide to Recruiting Black Men as Mentors for Black Boys

April 1, 2014

Black men are uniquely positioned to help guide black male youth to educational success and a productive future and through the barriers that stand in their way. But there are almost always more black boys to be mentored than black men to mentor them in formal mentoring programs. This guide helps mentoring programs engage in a productive and inclusive recruitment campaign by: 1) addressing program readiness; and 2) providing guidance on an effective social marketing campaign.

Identity; Neighborhoods and Communities

Telling Our Own Story: The Role of Narrative in Racial Healing

February 25, 2014

An important resource for leaders and practitioners working to overcome our nation's legacy of racism. The authors present the power of the narrative and its important role in racial healing.

Civic Engagement and Advocacy; Identity; Media and the Arts

Easing the Pain Communities Must Act to Heal Wounds of African-American Boys and Young Men

October 1, 2013

This report looks at the struggles of Black boys and young men and how pain is the root of the problem. It attempts to answer the questions, "Who Cares?", "Who Understands?", and "Who's Responsible?".

Boys and Men of Color; Identity

Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor: A Strengths-Based Look at the State of the Black Child

October 1, 2013

Including nine essays from experts and five "points of proof" organization case studies, this publication challenges the prevailing discourse about black children and intends to facilitate a conversation around strengths, assets, and resilience. It addresses the needs of policymakers, advocates, principals, teachers, parents, and others.

Education; Identity; Neighborhoods and Communities; Philanthropy

A Gathering of Leaders 2013: Postscript

July 9, 2013

"A Gathering of Leaders 2013" was a three-day conference convening 200 social change leaders working to improve opportunities for boys and men of color. This report is a follow-up to the conference, highlighting the insights, recommendations, victories, struggles, and lessons learned of participants.

Boys and Men of Color; Civic Engagement and Advocacy; Crime and Justice; Discrimination; Education; Fatherhood; Health; Identity; Media and the Arts; Neighborhoods and Communities; Philanthropy

Transforming the Educational Experience of Young Men of Color

March 1, 2012

The first of a four-volume series on the role of school counseling in the education of young men of color, this report includes short essays, student-produced artwork, and an interview on the topic.

Boys and Men of Color; Education; Identity; Media and the Arts

Black Male Student Success in Higher Education: A Report From the National Black Male College Achievement Study

February 6, 2012

The report presents insights from interviews with successful male African-American college students, highlighting factors that helped them succeed in a range of contexts: getting to college, choosing colleges, paying for college, transitioning to college, matters of engagement, and responding productively to racism.

Education; Identity

They (Don't) Care About Education: A Counternarrative on Black Male Students' Responses to Inequitable Schooling

January 1, 2012

Focus group interviews and systematic content analysis of 304 essays written by black male undergraduates refute the dominant message that black men do not care about education. On the contrary, these students aspire to earn doctoral degrees in education despite acute understanding that the education system is stacked against them. The analysis asks what compels that dedication.

Discrimination; Education; Identity

Portrayal and Perception: Two Audits of News Media Reporting on African American Men and Boys

November 1, 2011

The Heinz Endowments' African American Men and Boys Task Force conducted an audit of media reporting on black men and boys in Pittsburgh. Based on content analysis of newspapers and evening newscasts, in addition to a survey and video interviews, the findings highlight a media scene that underrepresents African-Americans males, especially in terms of their positive achievements.

Crime and Justice; Identity; Media and the Arts; Neighborhoods and Communities

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