The gun and gang culture among our young black men in places like London, Manchester and other areas in the UK, is spreading faster than anyone could have predicated. One of the many areas in London, South London is one of the worst affected areas. Residence in the area are no longer surprised or shocked when they hear gun shots ringing out during the day, for them it’s a matter of survival. It’s just another day.
Some of our teenagers have actually stated that having a weapon of some sort on them is an essential accessory in the same way a handbag is to a woman, “we do inventory checks before we leave our homes”, said one young brother, “I carry my blood type around with me, just in case I get stabbed or shot somewhere”. Many questions have been asked by group leaders, police and government officials as to what is the main cause of such behaviour within our communities.
The answer to their questions is the male adult in the home has gone AWOL, in the black community this happens to be the FATHER. The black Caribbean community has a much higher level of absent fathers than any other group in the UK, the absence of our men is having a devastating effect especially on our young boys this encourages them to turn to drugs, gangs and crime.
Chief Executive, Tony Sewell of the charity “Generating Genius” stated, “The most influential driving forces inside the souls of these young men –are sexual and aggressive”.
What does the word Father mean?
- a male parent
- a person who founds a line or family; forefather
- 3. any male acting in a paternal capacity Related: paternal
- ( often capital ) a respectful term of address for an old man
- 5. a male who originates something: the father of modern psychology
- 6. a leader of an association, council, etc; elder: a city father
- 7. ( Brit ) the eldest or most senior member in a society, profession, etc: father of the bar
vb (followed by on or upon )
- to procreate or generate (offspring); beget
- to create, found, originate, etc
- to act as a father to
- to acknowledge oneself as father or originator of
Taken from the World English Dictionary.
The role of the father is one who loves, guides and disciplines, one who provides a safe environment in the home, a father also keeps in check his sons aggressive behaviour. A father is someone who further guides the mind of a young child. The development in the first seven years of a child’s life is crucial to their growth in society, many of our young men are too feminised due to many of our sisters raising up these young men on their own, a woman cannot teach or train a boy how to be a man. “They need their apron string cut” my grandmother would say. With so many absentee fathers there is no wonder our boys are falling endlessly by the wayside. Too many youngsters find themselves looking for security outside the home by older gang leaders and not in the protection of their father. These young men have extremely poor education, have been expelled from school or college; they don’t trust the police, parents, religious leaders or teachers and do not have the basic skills to read or even write. Every child wants the sense of involvement from his or her father and mother. Without it, a child feels isolated and rejected. The foundation of the relationship then begins to crumble.
The statistics in the UK show that 59% of black Caribbean children live in lone-parent households compared with 22% of white children. In London the population of the black Caribbean community is 321,300 (4.3% of the city’s population). Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron echoed President Barack Obama in 2008 by calling for absent black fathers to take more responsibility for their children. The Prime Minister called for a ‘responsibility revolution’ to change patterns of behavior. Many British MP’s who have researched this problem say that in the absence of a male role model, many young black men choose to emulate negative, violent lifestyles popularized by gangster rappers and celebrities. The British government will introduce powers to compel fathers to look after their children, Prime Minister said a new culture of respecting those in authority will also be drawn in.
What would you say the solution is to these problems?
More information about black groups and organisations in the UK that are currently helping our youth, need to be more wildly available, information is lacking in the UK but some of our men have made that bold step and have charities and groups geared around helping our young men excel. Some are more effective than others. Generating Genius is a charity organisation based in London and Jamaica, it runs projects to create our next generation of doctor’s, scientists, engineers and leaders. Street Pastors is an inter-denominational Church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and dialogue. Street Pastors is supported by the UK home office and directed by Rev Les Isaacs, they have groups and training programs up and down the UK, Caribbean and Australia.
– Joycelyn Lewis, London, UK