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First, Manhood, then and only then, Fatherhood
THE WASHINGTON TIMES ^ | FR Post 8-11-2 | Ademola Ekulona

Posted on 08/12/2002 3:05:47 PM PDT by vannrox

First, Manhood, then and only then, Fatherhood

To be dads, boys
must learn to be men

<!- NO INDENT ->"Manhood development" expert Ademola Ekulona says there is a "fatherhood crisis" because there is a "manhood crisis." Mr. Ekulona, a former social worker and journalist who has a degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, now reaches inner-city boys through his Baltimore company, Adisa Future Positive Systems. Mr. Ekulona recently talked with Washington Times reporter Cheryl Wetzstein about his work with young males.

TWT: What is manhood development?
It is the process of escorting or guiding a boy from boyhood to manhood. It is best managed with a regular and systematic process that includes formal acculturation into the appropriate gender role.
TWT: Can only men do manhood development?
TWT: What then is a woman's role in this?
The woman sets the criteria. The work is done by the man. I am an Afrocentrist, and I believe that we should go back to tradition. Males, in order to be considered a marriageable or companionable partner, must pass through rites of passage. If you cannot pass the tests that the men have established and the women have agreed to, which verifies that you have the kind of self-control, dedication, wisdom and courage to withstand the pressures of family and community, the woman will say, 'How can you expect me to throw my lot in with you?'
     TWT: In America, what would a test of manhood look like?
     I've said for years that literacy, in terms of being able to read and write the English language in America, is the equivalent of knowing how to work a spear and a shield in the bush.
     Literacy is so important and so essential that any woman who a man wants to date should bring forth a book and say: 'Read this. Now write this letter to my father, explaining your intentions.' If the male is not able to do this, the woman should tell him very kindly, 'Please leave -- the room has no place for you.'
TWT: What do you teach the boys about women?
TWT: What else do you teach the boys?
I tell them, 'You are the prize.' America tells us that women are the prize, but in terms of nature, men are the prize. Women are naturally going to seek out the man who has the strongest potential to be supportive. So she sets up the criteria and if you are an alpha male, you are the prize. What you should understand is she may have an interest in [seducing you] because once she gets your seed inside of her, you have no say whatsoever in what happens to it.
TWT: What do you tell boys about contraception?
I say contraceptive is the man's business because the male has the seed. The egg is just there and will pass on unless you put your seed near it. So you cannot leave it up to her. I tell the males that even if you have had sexual experience, you need to practice your own abstinence. You should not be as available as the media -- especially as the black music industry -- teaches you you should be.
TWT: What do you tell the boys about welfare?
TWT: What do you say to young females about young males?
Boys are cute, and teen-age males are at the prime of maleness. The problem with being big and cute is you can give people the impression that you're a man.
I tell the girls to listen to what he's saying and ask some questions: Does he have anything? Look at what he's asking you to do. A man with serious intent is not going to be asking you to go to bed with him tonight because if he has serious intent, he wants to know who you are ... if you can cook, clean, think, read, learn, work.
She should ask, what does he do with his time? Is the main thing that he does with his time running around with his boys? And I take that term literally, because men don't have time to do a whole lot of playing.
I advise my daughters and other women that, unless the male is 28 years old, do not make any kind of commitment with him. He's not ready.
TWT: Well, let's go back to the sex part. You give an abstinence message. If people are going to wait to marry until age 26 or 28, what happens with all those desires for love?
Well, what did traditional societies do? They kept the male busy working. Adolescence is a modern phenomenon, a luxury afforded by an industrial society that basically tells people they're useless until they become legal workers.
There are also things that you can eat and things that you can do to use the energy that is represented by these so-called 'raging hormones.' The urge for sex is controllable. Most men know this after a while, although they like to let women think they have to have it.
TWT: What do you think of all the fatherhood groups?
The reason we have a fatherhood crisis is that we have a manhood crisis. What is wise about fatherhood groups is that they're dealing with reality and addressing the fathers' need for parenting instruction and jobs.
But unless the groups deal with a father's manhood and the stabilization of his character, he's not going to enter into a commitment with his child and he will very likely go out and create another child.
My contention is that the best thing we can do for our children is to prevent them from being parents before they're ready. If you give the boys enough to do, they are going to have something other than the girls' pants to concentrate on. Video games are not adequate.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: african; boy; change; children; girl; growth; men; rite; woman
A bit afro centric, but interesting never the less.
1 posted on 08/12/2002 3:05:47 PM PDT by vannrox
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To: vannrox
A bit afro centric, but interesting never the less.

Agreed...But I think his basic premises are right on.


2 posted on 08/12/2002 5:20:52 PM PDT by nothingnew
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To: vannrox
I wonder how he is going to convince these young men that working is more important than hanging with the boys and "planting their seeds" wherever they travel? I would find this interesting, since almost all popular music and society glorifies these behaviors.
But will he do so at the benefit of the men, or his own power?

3 posted on 08/12/2002 7:00:37 PM PDT by Maigrey
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To: vannrox
Interesting take on wefare (conspicuous by its absence) . . .

TWT: What do you tell the boys about welfare?
That if there was ever anything that was a good escape, welfare was it. And it's over. So if you make a baby, they will find you and they won't care about your sob story. You will have to pay. And if you don't like it, don't try to leave the country -- you'd better leave the planet.

4 posted on 08/12/2002 8:48:06 PM PDT by BraveMan
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