Last year about 596,400 young black men were missing from our classrooms, offices and homes according to report by the U.S. Department of Justice. These men were not dead or at war. They were sitting behind iron bars where their potential had no room to grow and their careers had no time to develop.
According to a newly released report form the U.S. Justice Department, approximately 12 percent of black males ages 20-34 are incarcerated. The report also goes on to state that 28 percent of black men will spend some part of their life in jail.
It is evident when you go to a college classroom or a college graduation. The number of black men in attendance is depressing. What does this mean for our future?
W e cannot sit around and wait for the government or the prison systems to reform these black men. The changes that need to be made should have been made when they were children.
“The proportion of young black men who are incarcerated has been rising in recent years, and this is the highest rate ever mentioned,” Allen J. Beck, the chief prison demographer for the Bureau of Justice Statistics told the Sacramento Observer.
This rate should not continue to increase. It is up to us to raise our young people for greatness, and not to expose them to the false light.
We can not continue to glorify the life of crime often depicted in the media and by our own entertainers.
We must expose them to the innovative, intellectual and powerful aspects of our culture making them aware that there is a legacy of strong black men inside of them and it is their duty to carry it out.
However, it is our duty, as a race, a community and a family to ensure that the atrophy of our black man does not come from the fact that we as people have failed to keep our black men out of jail instead of putting them in front of classrooms and behind executive desks.
Kanya Simon for The Famuan