Youth must be exposed to variety of role models
In a recent Another Voice article, Ross Runfola writes on how sports offer little for African-American at-risk youth as the best vehicle to mainstream society. I agree. There is certainly nothing wrong with athletics playing an important role in youth development and character building, but when athletics is touted as the primary, or only, avenue out of one’s social condition, then a community overlooks the historical contributions African-Americans have made in this society.
Young black males need to learn that black role models are not just athletes, rap performers or entertainers but encompass every field and discipline. What youth need to be exposed to is a new range of role models. The non-athletic/entertainment contributions black males have made in this country are extensive and exhausting. The life stories of extraordinary achievers can provide them with a road map of their own personal quest for excellence.