As much as I’m critical of some young African-American male’s behavior in the wake of the Michael Brown killing, I understand where the violence comes from.
There was a time when a young man coming of age actually meant that something good was going to happen. It was a time of unfulfilled and expectant joy in his life. It meant that before him was a period of wide open promise where the world was his oyster and the pearl, although maybe not that obvious was nevertheless there somewhere for his picking.
But for black or brown men today, such joy is hard to imagine. They look around their communities and they see almost nowhere where there is an example of African-American empowerment. They don’t see many examples of black businesses or the upward mobility associated with a successful home-grown commerce culture that they feel they’ll be able to assimilate into and profit from. Continue reading