A life worth examining is rewarding.

As a public activist, I am often contacted to offer my advice on a number of issues both private and public. I really enjoy being an activist when I received a call from a parent seeking to secure my counsel and insights on parenting ideas, especially when the focus is their sons.

Tragically in our nation and certainly this region, the image of Black youth, especially our males, is very negative. There are a number of reasons for this unfortunate narrative of Black youth. Many of the reasons have historical roots; others are just nasty ugly stereotypes.

One of the assets of living in Birmingham is our superb parks — we are truly a walkable community. I often exploit the tranquil parks of our hamlet whenever I meet and counsel folks, especially wayward Black boys under duress .

When we walk together I ask them to bring a pocket size  mirror as part of our walking gear. During our trek we talk, talk, talk and then we engaged in more talk. Often at the end of our  hike in the park I ask them to pull out the mirror.

I then instructed them to look at the mirror  and spend a whole 60 seconds an entire minute on the most important, significant, wonderful, awesome, sweet, gentle, good, beautiful, interesting, brillant, unforgettable, remarkable and the greatest living creation in the world.

The wonder of discovery is awesome...

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Janis Tsai June 15, 2011 at 06:25 PM
This is a great article. Black stereotypes exist in at my university because of the email updates the local police send out. The suspects always seem to be young black men. Although these emails come from a good place, it puts a huge cloud on the many kind and intelligent black students on campus. How can people ever feel at ease with emails like that? We have to raise awareness of stereotypes...even the supposed good ones..because all stereotypes are bad.


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