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THE STATE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MALES

Congressman Davis talks about the problems, solutions and the need for change

3/8/2017, noon | Updated on 3/8/2017, noon
Congressman Danny K. Davis said Chicago is one of the leading cities in the nation facing “big ticket problems” when ...
Danny Davis

The State of African American Males Congressman Davis talks about the problems, solutions and the need for change

By Christopher Shuttlesworth

More than 50 percent of African American males in

Chicago find themselves without jobs and have no thought of attending college. Twenty percent will more than

likely drop out of high school while

Chicago continues to be one of the leading

cities in America where African American

youth, particularly African American

males, do not have a clear vision for their

future. According to a Congressman Danny

K. Davis, some of the problems African

American males face can be attributed

to the misfortune of youth who lack the

benefit of an experienced two-parent

household. In other instances, African

American males are non-compliant to

societal expectations or are unable to

successfully adjust their behavior due to

a lack of guidance and training. Recently,

the Citizen went one-on-one with Davis

to discuss some of the problems, solutions

and the need for change.

Citizen:: What are your thoughts

on the African American males’ current

situation in Chicago?

Congressman Danny K. Davis:

Chicago sort of leads the nation in terms

of ‘big ticket problems’ with the African

American male population. That’s to

suggest that Chicago is a microcosm of

African American life in America, period.

There are a lot of different ways to measure

qualities of life. You can do it economically,

socially, educationally, politically and

spiritually. There are problem indicators.

When you go to church on Sunday

and you look for people who have a

faith-orientation, usually the smallest

population groups that you can see are

young African American males. They just

for the most part are not there. It’s not the

hip thing to do. I’m not saying anybody

has to be religious, but I find it to be quite

helpful. But there are socializations and

societal expectations you get when you

participate in these activities.

Citizen: Are parents bringing up

this generation the right way today?

Congressman Danny K. Davis: I

don’t know if I would use the terminology

“right.” But I would say many of our

parents don’t seem to express and convey

much about parenting. We got a lot of

parents who are very young and many

of the children have never experienced

two parents in their lives. They have only

experienced one parent unless grandparents

have stepped in. I think I have more

children in my congressional district who

live with someone other than their natural

parent than any other district in America.

So, that constitutes somewhat of a letdown

because you can’t learn if you’ve never been

taught, you can’t experience what you’ve

never experienced or what you’ve never been

in contact with. And I just think that it’s a

problem and something we need to find a

way to change.

Citizen: How important is it for Black

youth to have a vision so they know where

they’re going?

Congressman Danny K. Davis: My

daddy used to tell us that if we didn’t know

where we were going, then any road would