Reaching Up for Manhood

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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By: Anonymous Under-privileged, African-American boys are more prevalent in today's society than the typical person would like to recognize or admit. These boys seem to be faced with an ideal in which they need to follow or conform to as any and all cultures have. However, the problem is that for these boys, this ideal or way of living is believed to be met. Black boys growing up in Harlem are expected to act tough, not take any crap from anybody, and always seem to be strong no matter what they may be faced with. Along with this pressure to not express emotion and feeling, people wonder why they take this aggression out on their loved ones. Even though it may seem sexist it is a known fact that males are more likely to partake in violence than the average female. In order to prevent violence, it needs to stop before it starts.

To do this, we start at childhood. The social, family, and educational environment must change for the better. This is not an easy task and no one is saying that it is going to take place over night. However, it is known that what we are, what we know, and how we act all reflects on the way in which we grow up and develop. Not to state the obvious, but I was raised very different from what the novel describes as an African-American male. Considering I am a Caucasian female, I was not raised with the attitude that I need to fend for myself. I did not need to learn self-defense in order to stay safe on the playground. My mother did not coach me on which ways to walk home from school. I didn't have to worry about it since the schools were well...