Young African American Male Conference

Joe C. Hopkins, Journal Publisher

The Young African American Male Conference is here again. The Conference is designed to expose young Black men to the various professions and serves as a one day mentoring event. The conference began in 2003 and is a product of the Metropolitan Community Action Services Corporation. It is generally held at Pasadena City College. This year will be held on October 20, 2018.

The Conference is put on by men of the community and serves as a guide to:

  1.  tutoring and education,
  2.  preparing young men for college and careers,
  3.  scholarships, and
  4. basic study skills. Past Conferences have focused on these areas and also provided (e) recommended reading for the hundreds of young men who attended over the years.

A roll call of the past attendees were students from a large number of colleges and universities across the nation. Historical Black Colleges and Universities are also well represented. The Conference gives additional exposure for young men trying to make a decision as to where to go and what they want to do with their lives. The experience should not be seen as a one day experience but as a contact point for the future. It is also a point of learning life skills as a scholar. A book called “The Source” was developed some years ago and stands as a resource book. In the book information is presented for all of the skills and materials emphasized at the conference.

Example of the resources available in the guide include: preparing your child for college; which asks and answers the following questions:

  1. why your child needs to prepare for college and a career,
  2. how to tell if your child’s school has college ready and academic standards,
  3. the special hurdles facing African American students, and (4) how to be an effective advocate for your child.

One of the things offered at the conference are answers to these questions. For example, on the question of making your child college ready, what does he need to have studied in high school, and has he had enough math, English, science, social studies and world languages?

The resource book recommends four years of English, algebra 1, algebra 2, and high level math in 12th grade. A good mentor will tell you that you can take remedial courses if you didn’t get them the first time around. That is true but that puts you behind when you apply for college. Getting it right the first time allows you to have a better shot the first time at getting into the college or university of your choice.
On the issue of choice, there are over one hundred Historically Black Colleges and Universities. They have produced the cream of the crop of Black American leadership and include names like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thurgood Marshall. Some of the colleges and universities are found in beautiful locations, such as Hampton in Virginia which is set alongside a river where you can study or have lunch or watch the ships roll in. Buildings are named for people who look like us. Statues of Black historical figures add a source of pride to studies. At Tuskegee University in Alabama you can see the statue by Charles Keck, of Booker T. Washington “Lifting the Veil of Ignorance” off his people. Maybe you can be the spark that brings a Black College to California. Why not? In the meantime, if you are a black male, you need to be at the Young African American Male Conference on October 20th.

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