Group promotes male bonding and leadership

Man Talk is a discussion group on campus that is coordinated by Joshua McNeil, a senior political science and English double major from Orlando and Dougla-Khan Stancil, a coordinator of clinical programs in the Division of Student Affairs. Stancil and McNeil aim to educate and inform black males through the group, which they believe will better the community and help young men with personal growth.

Man Talk is geared toward the residents of Gibbs Hall, preferably freshman and sophomores. However, all males, including faculty, staff, residents of other facilities and students enrolled in other colleges, are welcome to attend meetings.

“If you are a man, you can come,” McNeil said.

“We keep things inside and do not talk about our problems. It is better for us to come together and help each other by spreading knowledge,” McNeil said about black males, his inspiration for the group. McNeil believes that if the men in the discussion group give their personal testimonies they will understand that they are not in their struggle alone.

McNeil feels that the most common issue among young black males is the lack of consistent positive male role models.

“Most black males were raised in single parent households and look up to rappers and athletes…the hood mentality needs to go because we are in college and there are no thugs or goons in college, only scholars,” McNeil said.  McNeil’s goal is to build stronger men, which will help lead to stronger communities, better treatment of women and a better world.

Topics of Man Talk include being a black man in America, health, stereotypes, politics and sex. “The discussions are similar to conversations that would be heard in a barbershop.” McNeil said. “Man Talk is men talking about things without holding their tongues and being as uncouth as they want to be because no women are around.”

The first discussion took place last Thursday, and the topic was financial security. Subtopics included financial security as it pertains to being black as well as social status and attracting women, cooperative economics, investing in black people’s posterity, and the differences between wealth and riches. Stancil, whom led the discussion asked questions as the group chimed in. Attendees laughed and nodded in agreement as they spoke openly on personal experiences and shared their opinions.

 Stancil gave advice to the group on investing in stocks and homes. “I really enjoyed the discussion and it’s good to have things like this going on at FAMU. It offered some information about loans and how to invest your money that is left over,” said Gregory Cox, a first year English major from Tampa.

Man Talk aims to promote growth, dialogue, maturity, exchange of information and atonement. McNeil and Stancil hope that it grows and starts a movement. Meetings usually have about five to ten people in attendance. Man Talk meets every other Thursday at 12:30 p.m. in Gibbs Hall. The next discussion will take place on October 7, 2010.