Tag Archives: black men

5 Ways Black Men Can Invest In Black Boys

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglas

The statistics and data around Black boys/men is and has been alarming for decades. As African Americans in the post-Civil Rights era began to abandon our own institutions arguably nobody has suffered as a result more than Black boys. In almost every category of substance Black boys/men trail and trail significantly against the overall society and within our own community. The consequences of this is seen in the struggles of our communities, institutions, and families. Where are the Black men is a question that is asked so often in spaces that in many ways it has become redundant. Unfortunately, the answer is they were lost as Black boys never to be seen from again in many ways. To become substantive members of our community, families, and institutions requires education, training, mentorship, and so much more. The reality on the ground is that there is very little in the way of organizations or resources that provides enough of that. While Black women have taken upon themselves to create, support, and fund initiatives that support the development and growth of Black girls, Black men have not done the same for Black boys. Conversations between Black men about how they can help Black boys tends to seemingly 99 percent revolve around sports as an answer. Black boys and sports has become a catch all for all things that ail Black boys and yet the outcomes suggest that is a failed investment. The question now is what going forward can Black men do to holistically develop and improve the outcomes of Black boys. Take responsibility and accountability for them. The time for deflecting blame is a broken record in many instances and while there are external forces at work constantly against African American men and our boys, we would be remiss not to as men deal with the protection and providing for them within our control.

  1. Pre-K-5 Investment Is Imperative. African American boys get lost and they get lost early. The majority of any investment made into African American boys needs to be made in early childhood development. This is where boys develop cultural identity, mental health fundamentals, educational confidence, and more. Any conversations that we have about Black boys needs to be heavily weighted on reaching them as early as possible and as often as possible. The foundation of anything being built will always be the most important part of that structure.
  2. Donating To African American Organizations That Specifically Support Black Boys. The easiest thing any of us can do is make sure the organizations that are trying to help our boys have the resources they need to not only fulfill their mission, but to excel at their mission and to exceed their missions expectations. For African American organizations who receive less than 2 percent of all national funding into NPOs, this is a mountainous hurdle. African American men can simply make sure they are active donors if they can afford to be and anything is better than nothing as the old saying goes. African American men can do this individually, but the stronger pathway would be as a collective. Two friends or twenty friends of African American men giving together is powerful for accountability towards giving, conversations about giving, strategic pathways to giving, and of course more capital towards giving.
  3. Create More Organizations That Support Black Boys. Simply put, there just are not many African American organizations that are targeted towards developing Black boys. Arguably, that is because African American men have not created them. This is where inevitably Black boys get funneled into sports and nothing else. Largely because that is what is available. Organizations that solely focus on and encourage Black boys to develop themselves educationally, mentally, artistically, and more are largely absent and in need of existence on the nonprofit landscape. African American men have to take the responsibility of identifying, cultivating, and developing areas where Black boys need development and creating organizations around them. To be clear, we are not talking about organizations where it is boys of color or side initiatives, but actual organizations being created where Black boys are the focus, period.
  4. Subsidizing Black Boys Supplemental Education. Black boys throughout K-12 do not get nearly enough supplemental education. The basic nature of supplemental education is everything that happens outside of a child’s classroom that makes them stronger in the classroom at its essence. Providing Black boys and their families assistance with tutoring costs, trips to museums, art galleries, academic camps, therapy, etc.
  5. Give Your TIME and Be PRESENT. This is free. For whatever reason, African American men are plain and simply absent in activities for Black boys beyond sports. From Boy Scouts, tutors, mentors, and civic engagement in general, African American men are just missing for reasons that are frustratingly hard to understand.

What are we up against? Here are just a few reasons African American men need to be at the forefront of the needs of African American boys.

  • The 2019 National Assessment of Education Progress data also highlighted that only 6% of 12th-grade Black males were reading at the proficient level and only 1% were reading at the advanced level.
  • In 2021, 76% of Black boys finished high school compared to 93% of Asian boys.
  • According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 36% of Black male students completed a bachelor’s degree within six years (52% of Latino male students completed theirs within the same time. White males graduated at a rate of 63% in six years.)
  • U.S. Census reports African American boys 17 and under comprise over 40% of the African American males in poverty.
  • Of the 12.3 million African American men over the age of 25, almost 50% have only a high school diploma or less according to the U.S. Census.

There is a war going on against African American boys and African American men are leaving them to fight for themselves. Our boys are more than their physicality. They are thinkers, they are astronauts, teachers, gardeners, and so much more, but like a flower they too must be nourished and care for by us. African American men can not leave African American boys to experience the gauntlet of life too many of us have already lived.

6 Financial Things HBCU Men Must Do Before Getting In A Serious Relationship

Teach self-denial and make its practice pleasure, and you can create for the world a destiny more sublime that ever issued from the brain of the wildest dreamer. – Sir Walter Scott

So you are a man now you say? You have graduated from your HBCU with degree in hand and maybe you have your dream job, maybe you are still looking, and maybe you are contemplating going to graduate school. Regardless of where you are in life, there is a strong chance that you have a desire to be in love. Before you give someone the world, make sure you have taken care of a few things before you embrace the responsibility that comes with a serious relationship.

Societal norms put the financial burden of courtship on men in heterosexual relationships. Historically, this makes sense because it has only been in very recent decades that women have earned the right to their own financial independence within many societies and in more than a few still have limited financial rights. However, this presents a bit complicated in the United States for African America where the women have surpassed men by leaps and bounds in almost every major category. It also does not help that African American men have the highest unemployment rate among all groups in the country, which creates a courtship complexity of sorts within the community. African American men who are 20-24 years old as of December 2018 had a 11.8 percent unemployment rate, while their European American men peers were at 5.9 percent and African American women peers were 7.5 percent. That being said, for African American men who are part of the LGBTQ community, the instability can be even more pronounced since both parties are part of the most vulnerable economic population and will be facing additional discrimination.

A relationship can be an expensive endeavor, according to a USA Today study the average date cost $102.32 and if you assume one date a week in a relationship that comes out to a total of $5,320.64 per year. This of course is not including special dates or holidays where the purchase of gifts, etc. can drive that cost even higher. The problem of course is that African American median income, last among all ethnic groups, is at $40,258 according to the 2017 Census. In other words, over 13 percent of African American income can be used up in dating, while no other groups even spend 10 percent.

To say the calculus is complicated would be an understatement. Do African Americans simply not date? This of course would be problematic since one of the fundamental ways of building wealth is through the scalability of marriage. Instead, get a strong financial foundation under you by adhering to these six principles and objectives:


This honestly could be the whole article, but it is certainly worth leaning into. Being honest about your finances up front with the person you are dating can take a lot of pressure off them and yourselves. This does not mean you have to tell them everything right away, but if you can not afford to do something tell them and do not feel ashamed of it. If you want to share with them that you have certain financial goals you want to meet, then do so and let them be part of what you are trying to accomplish not an adversary to it.


African American men are the most vulnerable population as it relates to employment as the numbers bear out. As such, if you are a recent graduate and happen to have employment you can not save fast enough. Most personal finance experts will say as a general rule 3-6 months of expenses is a healthy emergency fund, but for African American men 9-12 months is much more imperative. An emergency fund can take the edge off of dating because you know that you and your date are not spending your potential car note or rent payment. Do NOT touch it except for an emergency. Also, do not base your emergency fund off expenses, but instead use gross income. You want to have 9-12months of gross incomes saved. Saving based on  your income instead of expenses will allow you to maintain some semblance of a normal life should an emergency arise.


Once you decide to send someone flowers every Monday, fine dining every Friday, and a trip every other month you have set an expectation. Now, this is not to say you can not do those things, but they need to be within the confines of your budget. You should have an amount that you are going to spend every month on dating activities. If you want to save for something a bit more costly, spend a bit less each month and set it aside until you can afford that moment. Should your finances change and you need to alter the budget and expectations, remember – be honest.


Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to spend a lot on someone to let them know you care about them. The internet is full of helpful resources that can help you create low to no cost dates. Feel free to also use your social media networks for ideas.


Income is not wealth. Again, income is NOT wealth. Assets build wealth and you have to use your income to acquire assets. Beyond your emergency fund, you should be thinking about saving to invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. Find a financial/investment adviser as soon as you have a job. You do not have to wait until you have “money” to start investing. The earlier you start, the greater chance you will have of creating wealth over the long-term. Passive income, money earned from not having to work, should be a central focus of what you use your income for. Do no squander away the opportunity to set up yourself and future family while you have the opportunity.


We have all seen that friend or friends who gets a job after college and decides to go on a spending spree for the nice car, clothes, and showing off for Instagram. This is not the man you want to be. Becoming a slave to material possessions and forsaking your financial future while being part of a labor population that is the most vulnerable is not only not smart, but dangerous. Material things lose value and defer from your ability to invest among other things.

Ultimately, if you are a man and are not financially safe or stable, then you are not ready for a serious relationship with anyone. Do not confuse stable for rich. Most of the time financially stability can be achieved in a relatively short period with the proper sacrifices (like having a roommate or two or three) after graduating. Becoming financially literate is vital to helping remove the stresses of finances in African American relationships. A stress that is often noted as being the greatest area of conflict within relationships. After all, love does not cost a thing, but bad financial habits do.


Afrovember™: A Look At A Few Vital African American Male Health Statistics


“To preserve health is a moral and religious duty, for health is the basis of all social virtues. We can no longer be useful when not well.” – Samuel Johnson

We decided to highlight a few vital statistics for 2014’s for this year’s Movember/No-Shave November and highlight Afrovember to show some of the statistics around African American’s men’s health:

  • African American male life expectancy is 71 years – WORST AMONG ALL GROUPS IN AMERICA.

  • The top 3 causes of death for African American males are heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries.

  • Percent of African American men 18 years and over who currently smoke cigarettes: 23.7%

  • Percent of African American men 20 years and over who are obese: 37.9%

  • Percent of African American men 20 years and over with hypertension: 39.9%

  • Birth rates for African American men declined 1% to 58.2 births per 1,000 men aged 15–54 — a new record low for the group.

Source: Center for Disease Control

Unfortunately, it appears that there is very little data being collected on African American men’s health. An opportunity certainly for an HBCU research center to be formed that focused in on the collection of such data. Given the reluctance especially among African American men to engage doctors (and with good historical reason) a measured approach and strategy to bringing in interaction could go a long way into finding ways to improve African American men’s health.

Check out just a few organizations contributing to the improvement of African American Male Health:

Black Men’s Health Summit

Project Brotherhood

Hampton University Men’s Health Initiative