There are few jobs more important than mentoring and guiding young black boys. Over the last 30 years, we’ve witnessed an amazing slide in the outcomes of young men, as many of them have fallen victim to guns, drugs, mass incarceration, unemployment and a failed educational system. No matter who is responsible for the creation of this mess, it is going to take courage and commitment to cleaning it up. Men like Antoine McNutt have made it his career and life’s mission to helping young males between the critical ages of 16 and 21, teaching them the value of being educated, remaining focused and making good decisions. It is due to his diligence in saving our endangered sons and brothers that Antoine McNutt is today’s Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices:
What is your name, and what do you do?
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
Today I took my afternoon nap thinking about the days when I was captain of my high school track team in the 12th grade. I wasn’t the star of the team and I also wasn’t an academic star (my grades were terrible). Like many other black boys across America, I’d come to identify myself as an athletic commodity rather than an intellectual one.
I remember that one of the fastest boys on our team was also like a lot of other black males: He was in special education and had horrible grades. On his report card, he’d gotten two Fs, three Ds and a C. My coach was concerned about his grades, but not because he cared about the young man. He was only worried about his grades because he thought that the kid might not be eligible for the big track meet we had coming up.