3 Comments for this article

Tags: , , , , , , ,


WILMINGTON– Coast 97.3 radio personality Sandra McClammy is like many in the black community who are tired of the negative images of young black men.

"The young black male has statistics that are stacked up against them," she said. "There's not a lot of positive things being said about young black males."

To fight back she started Teen Summit in 2005. It's an annual event held at New Hanover High School, where teens express how they feel and find solutions to their problems.

"Some of them have family situations going on, sometimes things affect the behavior that they are having," McClammy said.

Antonio Boyd, 18, is a product of Teen Summit.

"For young black men, most of their friends go down the wrong path sometimes," Boyd said. "The ones that are trying to go down the right path need a voice and an organization where they can talk about the troubles that they are having at home and sometimes even for school."

Desmond Goss, 18, agrees.

"It's just easier to voice how I feel about certain things now," Goss said.

Boyd and Goss are youth leaders for Teen Summit. McClammy says she's worked with them since the 9th grade.

"They were two young men that I was able to see beyond them," she said. "I could see things in them that they couldn't see."

The two young men are also members of Teen enterprises, a group that focuses on education and civic responsibility. Teen Enterprises founder Randolph Keaton believes says they rose above typical sterotypes.

"The young men and women that are in the program, I must say that I am very proud of," Keaton said. "They could be doing something else very negative."

Earlier in the week we met with three New Hanover High School seniors. Darryl Pulliam, Montrel Jones and Michael Ballard wanted to give a message to younger black men hoping to follow in their footsteps.

"I would tell them that their GPA is key," Ballard said. "A lot of freshman don't realize that what they're doing in class, just getting by–that isn't enough, and it will hurt you in the long run."

If faced with peer pressure Jones said, "Just look for somebody positive. Don't look toward the negative. Just because it looks fun at the time, worse case if someone gets shot, you're all going down for that charge. Where will you be? You'll be in jail, and you'll wish you weren't there, so just find someone that you can be positive with."

Ballard gives this message of hope for the future.

"Just thinking about where do I want to be 10 years from now, and you'll hear people say that you have so much potential and you just think and let it dwell on you," he said. "Just think 10 years from now what do I want to do? That put me to the challenge to make myself the best that I can be."

Some young black men say peer pressure, social issues and negative stereotypes are challenges that they face. Community organizations are helping kids rise above those circumstances to be successful, but in the end it all boils down to making the right choices.

Comment on this Story

  • Big Red

    I too have a son at NHHS…he graduates this year. My son is a wonderful child. I have done my best to raise him as a single mom, but I give all praises to God for his help. We do need more POSITIVE male role models to assist…someone to really be there and step in before it’s too late because not every child adapts to situations in life the same way and not everyone chooses to believe in God. Thanks to all of the people in the community and in the media that have done so up to this point. GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!!!

  • A proud mom

    Mr. Pulliam,
    This was a much needed topic to discuss. I am a mother of a positive young black male who attends NHHS.
    You are doing a great job at WWAY!

  • Top Dawg

    I want to say to all the young black males out there yes keep trying to do the good.But to the older black male where are you why haven’t you taken your place in the community we have enough time to clean our cars hang out all night chase women what about our children our daughters our sons our future us.Oh don’t forget the church going people some kids aren’t in the church so bring your supose to be loving heart to them not that you supose to be in church young man or girl but can i talk to you for a minute about life and just give you some advise if they need it or not. Become some one that they can trust.A friend parter like a homie that they can come to about anything in life thats a start.Not when they do something wrong but be someone that they wouldn’t want you to see them in that way. That mean they have respect for u and wouldn’t want to look bad in front of you.


Related News