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Devastating reality for some young men of Color. No HOPE!

Generations of black men - brothers, uncles, husbands, fathers, sons are incarcerated it’s all they know.

Young man of color prison cell

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in 2018 that 35% of state prisoners are Black and 24% are Hispanic, making generations of men of color – brothers, uncles, husbands, fathers, sons – incarcerated; and this becomes all they know.

Survival | Man with Gun

Most young men of color have no hope for a good future. They are presumed guilty until proven innocent. Usually the punishment of time in jail does not fit the crime.

When they are finally released, employers are not open and willing to give them an opportunity for employment. If they do receive employment there is a higher risk of being exploited. Stephanie C. Kennedy, assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Connecticut, coauthored a study on the recidivism rates of Black men being higher than others, despite lower risk factors. In this study she mentions, “the most potent predictor of recidivism was being a Black male, even though Black men had less contact with the criminal justice system and few of the risk factors traditionally associated with recidivism. This suggests that beyond individual risk, other factors including racism and implicit bias, as well as poverty and employment opportunities in the local community are driving recidivism (Crime and Justice Research Alliance, 2018)”.

Whether a crime was committed or not there’s always a good chance of profiling and the abuse of authority by police officers when restraining. America’s history is burden with examples of such abuse. Social media highlighted and aired all of America’s dirty laundry and globally made all “woke” to the injustices of people of color.

The ratio of four police officers, and sometimes more, to arrest one young man of color is common occurrence. Most often than necessary, black males become fatalities of a very broken system. Racial profiling did not introduce, but certainly brought “The Talk” into the forefront of many who had never heard the term. “The Talk” is known in every Black home across America, unfortunately, regardless of socioeconomic background, because the talk is to prepare our young Black men to expect the unjust behaviors of others towards him. Similarly, as racial injustices arise among others non-Caucasians, “The Talk” began to creep into other homes of color.

Group of young men of color

Survival of the fittest. For some, being indoctrinated into a gang means everything – regardless of the violence and drugs, as a means for income.  However, this is a false sense of security although at a very young age.

Consider those young men who are hard-working, those who have put forth the effort and give due diligence to their education and extracurricular activities. There are young men of color abiding by the rules and pursuing college degrees, yet when they graduate, the opportunity to prove themselves is cut off.  They are rejected by being told they need experience. With no one to encourage them in a positive way, no mentors, and no connections, some give up too soon. LOST HOPE! But how does a man of Color live in a white man world? By assimilation through proper verbiage, attire, and established relationships with influential business contacts. Sometimes it comes down to who you know that can put in a good word on your behalf, rather than your skills and expertise (what you know). This is the reality for most in the business world. Then there are those who are groomed and get opportunities to play college and or professional sports. But in the end, they too, are still not valued for who they are.


A perfect example of not being treated as you would expect, that is, not having the qualities and opportunities of someone who is not of color, is Race Norming; a practice that the NFL just recently halted. (Read Article Here)

What is Race Norming?

As it pertains to the NFL lawsuit, racial bias was used in the NFL standards on how it settled suits pertaining to concussions.  According to the Associated Press, determinations were based on medical standards developed in the 1990s. Davenport and Henry’s lawsuit argues that the practice has “explicitly and deliberately” discriminated against hundreds, if not thousands, of Black players with claims in the $1 billion brain injury claims. A separate magistrate judge is acting as mediator between the NFL and player representative Christopher Seeger in the settlement claims. Brody tasked that judge with addressing “the concerns relating to the race norming issue.” Seeger negotiated the initial NFL brain injury settlement in 2013. Henry and Davenport’s lawyer Cyril Smith argues that Seeger introduced the concept of race-norming to begin with and questioned his fitness to argue on behalf of retired Black NFL players.

"Truth be told, this program is intended for those who are hungry for change in their lives; starving for guidance; and who are not afraid of hard work and expect to succeed."
- Lee Tasha Perez

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