Black Men Fight To End Violence With Pledge
Instead of looking for a hand out, Black men are extending a helpful hand up– to one another. As was proven last Sunday, Feb. 16 at the Greater Love Tabernacle Church in Boston where 40 men from the community signed “The Black Men’s Pledge of Responsibility.”
“We created this pledge as a way to get Black men back involved with their communities,” says Horace Small, executive director of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods and co-founder of the Committed Brothers Network that organized the effort. “We wanted to come together and coordinate various activities to make Black History Month proactive focusing on the needs of these men and addressing the stereotypes they face.”
The idea may have come about from these brothers but it was a group of Black women who wrote it. More specifically, mothers who have lost their sons because of gun violence put together the doctrine calling for our men to think differently about how they resolve conflicts and to be a better guiding light to the younger generation.
“It’s vital that we take a leadership role in ending violence against women, children and each other,” says Boston City Councillor Tito H. Jackson. “It was time for us to redefine the foundation of real manhood and stand tall as men and lead the charge to protect our communities, our loved ones and our children who are our future. “
The pledge asks Black men to take a long, hard look at their emotional and physical health, encourage better relationships with their loved ones and hold one another accountable. But it is the vow to end violence that is getting the most attention, especially with the increase in gang activity and shooting deaths in the Boston/Dorchester area this year alone. Community advocates, political leaders and faith-based activists have come together to further spread the word about the pledge, even going into local prisons.
“I don’t think people understand how hard it is to be a Black man in America today,” shares Ron Bell who has been a voting rights advocate and community organizer for over 20 years. “It’s time for us to stand up all to stand up and come together. We’re going to need everyone’s help to do this.”
Boston is just the beginning. The Network plans to reach Black men across the country to take back their communities, one man at a time. A similar message is being pushed by President Obama who has expressed his commitment after recently announcing the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative where heads of foundations, big businesses and community coalitions will join forces to tackle the issues that most impede the potential of young men of color.
You don’t have to be a Black man from Boston to join the movement. Print and sign “The Black Men’s Pledge of Responsibility” today right HERE.