The purpose of this book is to develop a mentoring manual that equips African American men and boys with wisdom and understanding as they navigate the challenging waters of the American cultural landscape. The lack of this kind of knowledge can be life-threatening at any moment in many contexts for our men and boys. Historically, it has been recorded, research shows that African American men and boys are more likely to be killed by those in authority when their responses are not according to the learned script taught by their parents and elders.
The church has played a critical and historical role in the life of the African American family in America. The church was the single place where African American families could act out their potential without resistance or rejection. It was a place where they were the leaders, teachers, shakers, and movers. The African American males could aspire to become the leader of the church when other doors were non-existent or closed. It was the church where African American men and women could feel free to be themselves, and feel valued in a hostile culture where they were considered less than human and were devalued as a person.
This book is written in response to a dilemma observed by the author who is a member of the church. The plight and conditions in which the African American male must survive is not that different from those of the slave era when one looks at the statistics regarding incarceration and the lack of education in today's culture. It is more likely for African American males to go to prison than to a place of higher learning and education. The African American male is still the last hired and the first fired in many places of employment.