the Black American Male / Through The Biblical Alternative
By John E. Coleman Pastor / Teacher AA, BA, MA
Each of us have listened and watched the various news
reports on the major networks that depict the overt
violence that comes from the heart of our Black communities
in most of the major cities in this great country of
ours. We have also watched in dismay as good and decent
organizations have put money and means into efforts
to bring about change only to see that every effort
only fails; and the advancement of crime, murder, street
shootings and violence have claimed to an all time high.
I have watched with bated breath for positive results
from many Black citizens that have demonstrated through
their efforts of hard work, sacrifice and many tears;
a trail of failure and discouragement as they simply
pick up the pieces and try again to reclaim a lost community.
I respect an honor all of the efforts of my fellow
inner city champions; those good warriors that have
paid their dues and organized corporations that to this
date reflect the redemption of lost souls in our inner
cities. I also admire the decent and overwhelming love
that many organizations have displayed even under the
most difficult of circumstances. One Minister name stands
out as supreme in my mind; the Rev. Eugene Rivers who
developed the “Ten Point Plan”, which is
a leadership foundation in Boston Massachusetts. I’ve
long admired his efforts as well as his articulation
in addressing the issues that our community faces. He
has addressed the situation and attempted to assail
the flood by means of programs that have yet to gain
an offensive front.
Do we at this time need another program; another ‘Ten
Points”? I am not advocating reinventing the wheel.
Rev. Rivers has done at best; the best job at developing
an idea that would work if we get behind it and push.
We are now left with another question; how do we continue
if the situation I growing worse each day. Rev. Rivers
is only one man with a very big God on his side, and
that is the issue that I bring to the table today; God,
where is He in this scenario? How does He fit into the
picture of our wasted inner city communities? If one
takes the position that most people in the Black community
in American believes in God; is this reflected by the
large number of churches in our inner cities?; would
I also be correct in saying that it will take the very
same kind of love for those brothers in the community
from us; towards them if there is to be a real affect?
If we truly analyze the spiritual condition of our communities;
can we state with confidence that most of us (black
people in the inner cities) are Godly people?
If indeed, God has brought us from a mighty long way;
slavery, poverty, Jim crow, segregation, etc. would
it be probable to think that He, God would call some
of us to not only understand His ways; but to also reflect
these ways to a new generation of young men that has
never heard of God in the ways that He would want to
be recognized, or actualized? If many of the young men
in our communities have never known their fathers, and
were raised by their mothers, grandmothers; or sisters,
how would one expect those same young men to have a
balanced perspective of what is implied by the word
masculinity? My premise is that many of the young men
in our community have a warped definition of what masculinity
really is. The “Gangster Rapper Thug Mentality”
is what many young men in the community would communicate
as masculinity. We also take under consideration the
ways in which young women are treated by many young
males in our black society today; outrageous is the
What does it mean to be a man in today’s society;
this would be one of the major questions that many of
our young men would ask of those of us that have survived
the age of fifty and above. Statistics have proven that
many of the young men in the inner cities of American
who grow up in the black community do not have a frame
of reference to live beyond the age of their mid twenties.
With violence on the up-grade and the frequency of drive
by shootings and the like; these young men have a dreaded
view of the future. When you ask the young man about
the future; keeping in mind that he has never witnessed
for himself his father; and in some cases grandfathers
demonstrating what longevity looks like in the real;
he really has no idea what you are speaking about. The
concept of future is seen in his ability to survive
the stares that he receives from his peers as he walks
down the street. Those of us that have survived life
must come to the realization that these young people
have no concept of life after high school in many corners
of the country. I must also note that there are more
young men having sex with other young men in the community
at an alarming rate which is a reflection of the loss
of moral codes of decency in this post modern era that
we find ourselves.
I am proposing that if we are to reach these young
men in our communities we can only achieve this goal
as we invite a divine intervention into the environs.
If God indeed is a part of our lives as Christians;
and we being a part of the community that is inflicted
by all of this violence; we of all people really know
what power is, the power to live a decent life. If we
actually believe that God is desiring to work in our
community; then He seeks to work through me; those of
us that not only claim to know God; but in reality live
in such a way that demonstrates God’s power, must
live up to the expectations that God has placed in our
hearts. In other words; if we have seen Him work in
us and others; and we know this to be factual; we then
speak as if He really is, we live as if He is energizing
us and when the young man who is influenced by gangs;
violence, and death witnesses this phenomena; (of life
in us) the desire is placed within their hearts to achieve
possibilities; but only through the interjection of
divine infusion. This is where the rubber meets the
If there is any hope for our communities; success will
only be achieved when moral guidelines are brought to
the frontline and hailed as the standard bearer of redemption.
We must as a community of strong moral conviction stand
unified and call upon the God of all creation to redeem
our culture. God has already given us all of the guidelines
detailed to garner success. These old fashioned standards
are the only hope for our community. That being said;
we must now place the absolute truth within a language
that these young men would understand. The methodologies
of communication that weathered the storm yesterday
will not affect a mind that has been held captive for
decades. We must never forget that the minds of our
young men and women have not conceived of a God that
cares. The educational system has been affected by humanism
and compromise; to many of our young people; we are
their only hope.
If one takes an honest look at “church people”
today in the inner city black community one witnesses
what appears to be a social club of older persons that
dress for success; listen to antiquated discourse which
ascribes a life in the sweet by and by; which really
does not address the current situations that many young
people are faced with in the inner city environment.
God is relevant today; and He is yet speaking to the
hearts of men, but the so called spokesmen (Pastors
/ Preachers) who represent Him are sending the wrong
message to the masses of black people that attend those
Sunday morning meetings. If you attend those events;
ask yourself this question; where are the young people?
Why is it so difficult for parents of many of our children
to get them to come and sit through what is nothing
less then rhetoric or retaliation from the good reverend
for the purpose of recovering money for his bank.
Many of our young people see through the disguise of
pretense that is manifested Sunday after Sunday in many
of our churches. If I were a young again; I would not
attend these meetings with a smile on my face. How could
we ever gain the respect of those lost souls if we too
have been drifting on a sea of contexture ourselves?
Is it no wonder that our youth reject what so called
Christianity offers. The power of an affective life
must be witnessed by our youth. There will never be
total redemption of a people unless those who are older
present an example; an illustration; a solvent imprint
of what Godly intervention looks like. Our lives must
represent all that is good and healthy for those young
people to imitate. We must become the living examples
of what success look like. Positive statements will
not suffice; we must walk the walk. We must develop
ways in which we can communicate that the “walk”
is one that guides one to be successful for years down
the line. When there is a certain respect for self,
life and God in every aspect of our human existence;
they undertake the idea that it also may be true for
their young lives.
I would propose “Ten Guidelines’ which
are proven to break the back violence in our communities
if properly advanced by those Christian that believe
in the Godly approach to human redemption. These guidelines
have worked in the past and have proven themselves valuable
not only to me as a person of faith; but to many more
of the same mind as myself who have succeeded in the
advancement of family and culture as they comply to
the letter these eternal rules. I shall propose them
to you in the form that they might be presented to the
young men in particular in the inner city community.
I would suggest that God in His divine uniqueness and
redemptive capacity is the lone source of success in
this endeavor to communicate these ideas in human structure
for your review. As I personally reflect upon what I
present to you; I am humbled that God would use me in
any way for His cause. I would also suggest that He
(God) does not require my input into His divine standard
“The Bible” those sixty six books alone;
the book will and can suffice victory in any human beings
life. Please keep in mind that I am very Christian,
and the philosophical perspectives that I present in
these points are from my Christian background, which
has been instrumental in a successful maturity of adulthood.
“Ten Guidelines To Success”
Teach a young man that he is to never, ever regard
anything; person, object as superior to God who created
the universe and everything in it.
Teach that young man of the inner city that any
symbol that takes him away from a mental frame of reference
which speaks of Godly success ought not be pursued.
Teach that same young man that only positive language
is to be communicated which honors his creator God;
especially when speaking of God’s person.
Teach that beautiful young man that he ought give
time to recognize God in the fullest by way of giving
homage to His person in a private fashion.
(5) Teach that young man that God has given him parents;
though they may have problems; he has an obligation
to honor them as a part of his heritage.
(6) Teach that young man that killing is not a way of
demonstrating that one loves what God created; he is
to take as serious the life of another human being.
(7) Teach that young man that his sexual habits are
important. He is not to have sex with another man’s
wife; or even to pollute himself with sex with anyone
who is not his own wife in Holy Matrimony.
(8) Teach that young man that working hard brings honor
to one’s life and that taking from others that
which does not belong to him is not what God would be
(9) Teach that young man that telling the truth always
pays good dividends.
(10) Teach that young man that desire is good; but that
he ought not desire that which
another person possesses in that in good time, and with
hard work he will
accomplish his ends.
I truly believe that if these principals are kept by
any young men in the inner city, his life will be a
success. These simple yet complex dictums have accomplished
generational successes in the lives of men and women
also all over the world. They are not only simple to
understand; but when communicated in practical terms
to the young men of the city; the accepting of these
eternal dictates can transform their lives. Some of
you may have picked up what I’ve done; did you
get it yet? I said that the wheel does not have to be
re-invented; the success of our community is found inn
the keeping of these simple but complicated absolutes.
They are simple in that the young man can fully comprehend
them in the form that I have placed them. When offered
in loving compassion and convincing language these will
go to the heart of the spiritual recipient. Yes; simple
to understand, yet complex. The complexity comes from
their source. You see my friend; these words though
believed by me are not my words. They derive from another
that had charge of millions of people who God delivered
during times of great difficulty. The difficulty is
found in not only the man who held the stone on which
the words were written; but the author of the very words
themselves. Complex; yes, because they are thousands
of years old. They were copied and practiced by millions
of successful human beings. Exodus 20:1-17 is where
you will find these words. They are found in the Old
testaments scriptures of the Holy Bible.
Do you believe me yet? If there is to be any form of
redemption in our community; it will only come through
the keeping of God’s divine commands. Join me
in simply teaching our young people these divine dictates.
Teach them in a way that they will be able to undertake
a better understanding as to why it is important to
operate by these truisms. I am praying that the Lord
opens new doors for me to minister to many young men
these ideas. It will never be affective until I come
to realize that God demands of me total repentance of
all known sin in my life and a Godly love for those
that have been afflicted by Satan, Sin and self deceit.
Do you love them enough to pray that God’s word
will affect regenerative change in those wonderful young
hearts in the midst of our community?
Allow me to conclude by saying; if you do not know
how to love these young men, don’t get involved
in their lives. They require a fatherly love that is
very uniquely needed in the black community. Love them
right where they are. Try not to place your requirements
on them. They have had a life of pain and regression
in their hearts. Ask the Lord guys; to lead you in this
great endeavor. You will note I said guys; ladies, you
have a job to do in raising the young ladies and preparing
them for these young men that need a man in their lives
at this time. Many mothers need to release their sons
for the purpose of growth and maturity. The concept
of ‘Moma’s Baby’ is that which defeats
the progressive mode of spiritual growth.
Pastor / Teacher John E. Coleman August 5, 2005