Brothas – Do Something or Get Out of the Way

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By PW Brown

Brothas let me ask a simple question. Why is it that our beloved queens of are our rapidly ascending and gaining more influence in the "Royal Court?"

I ain’t tryin’ to be a sellout, but it is important to talk about this. I’m only going to bring light to one possible factor and highlight potential impacts. A possible factor I want to discuss today is the fact Sistahs outpace Brothas enrolled in college, and simply by sheer numbers, they outpace Brothas graduating from college. Over the past 33 years, African American women have enrolled in four-year colleges at higher rates than that of African American men, according to the results of a study conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA's Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. In 2004, 59.3 percent of all first-time, full-time African American students attending four year institutions were women, compared to 54.5 percent in 1971. Now, before jumping to any conclusion or making any claims to various cultural impacts, it is important to note that this gap is not a new issue. However, the concern is that the gap continues to widen beyond the halls and walkways on campus. By this, I mean access to jobs and money becomes less of a challenge for Sistahs. Additionally, they are more likely to climb the corporate ladder because of the tremendous doors of opportunity that a college degree opened for them. Thus, their self-worth and esteem glow with pride while that of Brothas merely flicker as a beacon of hope.

So, I ask my fellow Brothas? Watcha goin’ to do now?

Based on today’s trend, the future doesn’t look too promising for us. Don’t get me wrong. I am proud of our Sistahs and will always stick my chest out when I get a chance to say that I have been married for over 20 years to a strong African American woman. But Brothas, we need a plan! There’s no creature on this planet that can raise our young African American males better than a wise and experienced Brotha. Our Sistahs have and are doing an outstanding job, but quite frankly, that ain’t their job. It’s ours!

So, what’s the plan to re-ascend to the throne?

Why not follow the blueprint that our Sistahs have used … Success is through the classrooms of colleges and universities. Let’s increase the number of our young men going to college. By the way, this doesn’t require understanding any complex mathematical formula. It’s just basic laws of numbers. The more we put in school, then the more will come out with degrees in hand and a greater potential to make a difference in our cultural and as President Obama has proven, to make a difference in this world.

I challenge all African American males over the age of 30 to make a commitment to mentor one young man to enter into a college or university. Now, what does this mean in terms of numbers? According to the U.S. 2000 census, there are roughly 16 million African American males living in the U.S., of which five million between the ages of 15 and 29. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there are plenty of mentors to go around and plenty of potential students to mentor.

Bottom line, we must take action or just move out the way and let the Sistahs have the throne and “Royal Chair.”

PW Brown is a profile writer for emPower magazine. The article is an excerpt from his published novel, DRAPER'S PASSION. He can be reached at [email protected]. More information on his book can be found at

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