More than 1,000 people gathered Wednesday night in Greensboro for a forum discussing the perils and untapped potential of young, black males.

Sponsored by PNC Bank and the News & Record of Greensboro, the event, held at the Carolina Theatre, included Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., who said fixing the problems that plague black males must start with an honest admission of the role racism has played in American History.

“If I could wave my magic wand and do anything, I would wave my magic wand and give this country an education of its own racial past,” he said, “because I think that is what is tragically missing. Tragically in this country, African American, white and otherwise, we’ve sort of hidden from ourselves.”

Meanwhile, Star Parker, a conservative activist who runs the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a Washington nonprofit, said many of the problems plaguing young black males start at home.

According to the News & Record, she noted that 70 percent of young men in the justice system come from single-parent homes and that the percentage of black children raised in two-parent homes is only 25 percent today, lower than it was in the 1950s and 1960s.

“We cannot overlook this aspect of black family life,” she said.

Founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, Glenn has worked at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer.