To address the question: "WHAT IS LOST FROM THE DISCONNECTION?" -- there are five basic things. Struggling Black youth lack the 5Ss (safety, security, sureness, strength, and stability). Struggling Black youth use EMOTIONAL ENERGY (and not Spiritual Energy). Struggling Black youth are filled with DELUSIONS. Struggling Black youth have SELF-DEFEATING MINDSETS. Struggling Black youth have SELF-DEFEATING HABITS. Self-defeating mindsets and habits spring out of the 5Ss + Emotional Energy + Delusions + Brainwashing dictates (defining who Black people are; what they are allowed and not allowed to do; and how they must appear) from racist European males. These three are under the label of: STAY IN YOUR PLACE. Since slavery, these messages, backed by violence, have been so frequent as to become ingrained in susceptible Black people and perpetuated by fear generated socialization.
Examples of what Black Americans have been told, backed up by the GUN, since slavery is: “don’t read”; “don’t get an education”; “don’t try to better yourself”; “don’t be ambitious”; “don’t trust each other"; don't work together to fashion Black Power”; “don’t be uppity” (i.e. do not be like a White man—and morally that is good advice!!). It is also to “be about nothing”; “fight among yourselves”; and “spend your money foolishly.” Any one of these dictates may be the Trigger Obstacle (the single most important factor that serves as a given boy's gatekeeper preventing progress) in any given youth. However, the Trigger Obstacle in one boy may not be the same in another boy or it may not have the same priority. If you understand this you will be able to customize a management program for a given boy.
Managing Black Boys' Trigger Problem: More of Black Americans' problems come from Disconnecting from what is in our best interest than from any other cause. At some point in our lives or in the lives of our family Ancestors or in the course of our Black community influences we had the proper connections to all the right Values and Virtues. But then many lost it--perhaps because of one (or more) painful events or because of allowing disconnected people to convince them to join their self-defeating ways. The result of losing the Connection with African Tradition directly or indirectly accounts for basically all the problems we see in today's struggling Black Americans. In correcting the problems of struggling Black youth: Step I is to get the boys to REVERSE THEIR SLAVERY BRAIN SWITCH. Step II is to get them to RECONNECT with African Tradition. Step III is to get them to RECONNECT with their Spiritual Energy. This is why Sankofa works.
One way to go about Reconnecting today is to tell Black Americans the TRUTH about who they are and where they came from and who their people are. What has worked for me is to introduce them to the history of their Ancient African Ancestors -- the most brilliant people who have ever lived -- and to let them know they carry the same "gene pool." To show that Reconnecting and Knowing the Truth works, many Black people in prison come to terms with what they have done and realize that in the back of their minds they already know what constitutes the right and decent thing from having been connected to it in the past or exposed to it in the Black community. By then undergoing Reflection, Remembrance, Renewal, and Recommitment, they Reconnect with those African Traditions which put them on the Ma'at path. And this is the objective of any program designed to truly help free the minds of struggling Black boys, as opposed to simply trying to make them comfortable inside their encaged mental world. Note: At the conclusion I was labeled "The Walking Library" and awarded the "African Elder Chair"--an extremely high honor which touches my heart.
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