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A Room Full of Brothers Talking About Doing God's Work and Addressing the Question: “Adam Where Are You?”

(Why Black Men Don't Go To Church)

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Making a communityMore than 100 Black men met early on Saturday morning, October 1, to discuss the topic, "Why Black Men Don't Go to Church" and what can be done about it. The occasion was the Yoke Men's fellowship monthly meeting at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Altadena, CA. The men came from churches all around the area to discuss this important topic and share their ideas about improving Black men's participation in church affairs.

The reasons that evolved included the traditional and unique, old and new reasons as broad as interfering with television football schedules, to questioning whether the church fulfils the needs of the individual brother. What was clear was that Black men are more doers than just talkers, and if there was something to do, they would be there to put their hands to doing those things that benefitted the community, more so than the church.

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Sidetracked . . .

. . . More Lessons from a Black Lawyer's Perspective

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - sidetrackedI have been asked to take part in a panel discussion on the subject of "Why More Black Men Don't Go To Church." As I prepared some notes on this serious subject it struck me that some of the same reasons could apply to more aspects of Black men's lives such as, why more Black Men don't embrace entrepreneurship and go into business more, or why many Black men are so willing to leave home and abandon their children for some outside interests, or why are there so many Black Men in prison, and why are so many men willing to avoid marriage?

All of these are painful questions, but the sooner they are dealt with on a continuous basis, the sooner we can improve the situation. Please note that I didn't say solve the problem. I feel we can improve the problem. I also note that these are questions that most people wish would not be played out and dealt with in public. But when we accept a culture that glorifies a thug culture from their Rap music to their underwear exposing dress code, it's already out in public. I've always said you should try to do things you are proud of, then you don't mind them being played out in public.

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Slaves in Boxes . . .

. . . Taxation Without Representation and Other Theft's Keeping Us Poor

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Taxation without representationIn life, we sometimes give things away and look back later and say we wish we had kept some. Black Americans were forced to give away labor and ideas which ended up as money makers for others. The evidence is all around us.

In my kitchen cupboard there is a box of Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix, a Box of Uncle Ben's Rice and a bottle of Michele's Honey Crème Syrup. In my bathroom cabinet there are bottles of cosmetics for Black hair and skin care with names like Clairol, Sta Sof Fro by the Carson company and Dudley and La Ran Hair Care Products. In some of those categories we have maintained some ownership, but we have lost or given away a lot. Ask yourself what would be the value of a Black Baseball League today if it still existed?

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Talk is Cheap, Action Speaks Louder

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - talk is cheap, actions speak louderIn my library are a number of books that say things about talking. One book by Kahlil Gibran, entitled 'The Prophet' says, "You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts; and when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime. And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered. For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly. There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone. The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape." The poem goes on for a few more paragraphs but the words that stick with me is the last line that says, "His soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered when the color is forgotten and the vessel is no more."

To me, this reminds me of the hurt that people do to one another; something I see on a daily basis in my law practice. My experience tells me to look for evidence and ignore the words, as in one of Donnie Hathaway's songs that says, "The truth is in there hiding." We adults have all heard the saying that "money talks and B.S. walks." Or as my old Law school Dean said to me once when talking about trusting another man when the choice is between money and love, "Never trust a man's love, only his actions."

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Education, The Gift That Keeps On Giving . . .

. . . Get Some and Give Some

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Education the gift that keeps givingI know I must be getting old when I find myself picking my oldest granddaughter up from her college orientation. Each of my sons and I have an agreement that we will all pitch in to make sure that the "kids "(seven grandchildren) get their education. That includes books, cars, tuition, parking stickers and whatever it takes, because the option is potentially too costly. I guarantee you that it is cheaper to help kids pay for tuition and education than entry into the underground economy. I gave her a cross pen. She doesn't really know how proud we are that she is off to college. My oldest grandson will be joining her next year.

Education as a Barber got me my first business. Education got me my Law Degree and my Law Office which got me to a position that I can help my children and grandchildren, and even my community move forward.

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