By Mavis Jackson, Chemical Dependency Counselor
Aside from being blessed to give birth to four black males, I have also blessed to provide counseling services to black males of all ages. So I have been an eye witness to the plight of the black male and how one particular enemy has brought many of them to their knees, (which is not a bad place). The enemy I speak of is drug addiction which also brings along its cohort, criminal behavior.
Since I have worked in the field of chemical dependency over 15 years, I have counseled adolescent males, young adult males and older males, of which the majority was always black. One of the hardest of all my counseling positions was at a boot camp for boys ages 13-17 back in 2005. Those children were under attack on a daily basis and made to pay for their mistakes over and over again. Now don’t get me wrong, they had broken the law and had to pay the consequences, but the way they were treated was most times inhuman. I distinctly recall seeing more black boys than any other race, and they seemed to receive more punishment than others. Most were undereducated and what intelligence they did have, drugs had all but erased it. Working in that facility is what sparked the drive in me to develop a drug education and prevention program to take into the schools.
Many of those boys talked about having to go back and live in drug-infested areas after their release. So, once they survived being under attack in that facility, they had to face the attack from their own people in their communities. But that didn’t just begin recently; drugs have been a constant presence in our communities for a long time. One movie that I believe depicts the beginning of drugs being deliberately placed in black communities is The Godfather. I will never forget the scene where the “families” meet and decide to start dealing in drugs and made the statement “put them in the neighborhoods with the n…..s (Blacks) and the s…s (Hispanics). And ever since that time, that enemy has been a decaying and poisonous reality for our people and our communities.
The young adult males and older males are another story. They have not allowed themselves to escape the attack and many constantly remain under its control. This has resulted in outcomes such as, gang violence, criminal conduct and separation of families just to name a few. Every day I talk with black men who have regrets about their past, and some do choose to change. However, some choose not to change and remain under the attack. Black males still have a chance to pick themselves up and do something positive with their lives, because they are not totally defeated. But until he wants to help himself, even God cannot help him. There is power in numbers, so Black Men, stand together and take back your lives! You may lose a battle or two, but together you can win the war.
Peace & Blessings,