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.