Mentorship is an important part of developing the next generation in our community. We need experienced Brother’s and Sister’s who can be trusted to train and counsel our youth to become the entrepreneurs, politicians, business people, professionals and skilled laborers of tomorrow. Many of our leaders who come from our community go on to great heights, but very little of their skill and knowledge is being transferred to the youth left behind in the ghetto.
One way or another, our youth will be mentored by someone or something. The street life, where people who have given up on “the system” hang out and join gangs because they don’t have a job or business to take care of themselves and their families, is mentoring a lot of our youth to become parasites in the community rather than producers. Praying on those of us in the neighborhood who have a little something that we’ve managed to build up. Winding up in jail or dead, wasting their God given potential to be great and useful to their people. Becoming modern day slaves, working for free in the prison industrial complex.
With the attacks on our school systems by a right wing community that seeks to privatize them and make them businesses rather than educational institutions that give our youth the necessary skills to be self sufficient, the streets have become one of the major mentors of our youth, filling the void left by a failing educational system that lacks the tools and resources to produce productive citizens.
To counter that behavior, we have plenty of people who come out of our communities who can train our youth with the skills they need to become self sufficient. Just look at the number of our youth on college campuses, local business owners and professionals that we have produced who can be mentors for our youth. Susan Taylor, former editor of Essence Magazine, talks about the importance of mentorship in an insightful op-ed, “It’s Up To Us To Restore A Generation,” it is essential that older generations take the time to affirm, listen to, and help guide today’s youth.
From Open Society:
“This is another fact that grips me: When the call goes out for mentors, white women and men respond first, and black women and men respond last. It is my mission, and the mandate of the organization I founded while still chief editor at Essence magazine to replace these dream-crushing statistics that are our children’s realities, with the ones our ancestors sacrificed their lives for—and by that sacrifice, demanded that we, too, ensure the following generations’ wellness”.
As a people, we’ve got to do a better job of luring our people back to our communities who can provide the type of mentoring that can help us break this cycle of powerlessness, where all of our institutions and businesses are run by people outside of our community. Our skilled Brother’s and Sister’s also need to have a commitment to give back to those who are in the position that they were once in. The single mom or a struggling family that can use some guidance for their children in the right direction should seek out mentors in the neighborhood who can and will spend time with a youngster and teach them the ropes. Showing them not only how to build a business or a career, but how to be a good person, who is committed to being self sufficient and a family man or woman. Which is the foundation of a strong community.
I was listening to a young Brother in Chicago who mentors youth in automobile restoration. He told the story of how one of his mentee’s who he inspired to go to one of the top auto restoration schools in the country, wound up completing school and got a job with Mercedes Benz making $70,000.
He left Mercedes Benz and came back to Chicago and got a job at a high school teaching other young Brother’s and Sister’s how to do what he had learned. When his mentor asked him why did he leave Mercedes Benz, the mentee said he came back to his community (making half of his Mercedes Benz salary), because he wanted to be like his mentor and become a mentor to other children from his neighborhood.
This is how we build self determination. By learning all we can from mentors in our communities, getting the skills we need to express our passion and applying that knowledge to build self sufficient communities throughout the African Diaspora. Mentorship, where each one teach’s one is a powerful and necessary tool we can use to turn blighted Black Business Districts into powerful Pan African Business Districts throughout the African Diaspora. This is the type of fuel we need to provide the economic boost we need to restore ourselves to the prosperous people God intends for us to be.
By Kefing Moor
Administrator for http://www.Facebook.com/AfricanMarketMallOnline
Owner of Emma’s Place Online at http://www.ArdyssLife.com/EmmasPlace
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EmmasPlaceOnline?ref=hl