Education Opinion

Hill Harper Returns Attention to Plight of Black Boys

By Matthew Lynch — May 10, 2016 1 min read
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Actor Hill Harper, best known for his work on the hit TV show CSI: NY, is turning his organization’s attention towards the plight of black boys.

Manifest Your Destiny, Harper’s mentoring group, targets young boys and girls coming out of middle school. But as the 10-year anniversary of Harper’s best selling book Letters to a Young Brother approaches, Harper’s turning his attention to the group that he first targeted with his book: black boys.

Harper’s book is sort of a road map to help young black boys navigate their way through life. In it, he offers advice to young men through letters that he’s written drawn from experiences he had as a young man.

In an effort to continue that legacy, Harper’s organization will offer the same guidance but in tangible ways.

Through a week-long program called Summer Empowerment Academy, Manifest will expose students to workshops that will teach them to become better students, training about entrepreneurship, and will match students with mentors.

While the organization’s main goal is to offer mentoring services, this year’s goal for the academy is to help stall the high dropout rate for black students in economically depressed areas.

The academy will offer slots for up to 30 students for the academy and for places in Manifest as well.

Harper is joining a growing drumbeat of groups, leaders, elected officials, and others who are focusing on the plight of black boys.

As President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper mentoring group grows in stature, as well as Harper’s efforts, black boys have a focus on them in a positive way that will help stem the tide of negative forces that gather against them.

From the school-to-prison pipeline to black men being stalled out of educational opportunities due to economic problems, Manifest Destiny’s step towards focusing exclusively on black boys is encouraging and sorely needed.

The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.