Middle Passage Mentor is an advice blog established to help uplift positive young men of color.
If this is you and you need advice, guidance or just another opinion outside of your own, please post any question, comment or problem. I will try to give you something positive that you can use.
Explaination: When I look back on my life and evaluate the most unstable period, I immediately reflect on the age of 15 to about 20. This time, for me, was the most unfocused point of my life. Luckily, I had strong males around me involved in my upbringing; grandfathers, uncles, and positive friends that kept me grounded. I had and have very present visible valid definitions of masculinity in my life still to this day. Of course there were options outside of what I thought was right…drugs, crime, truancy, but my foundations were so thoroughly set, there was little to no consideration of those kind of activities. I would say I was blessed in that sense…now I’m a mentor/volunteer with the Concerned Black Men, Inc. (DC Chapter). I have been a volunteer for about twelve years since the first million man march in 1996. Experience has shown me that the society supports and mentors youth under the age of about 10. There’s a false assumption that all young men are prepared for adulthood exactly on their eighteenth birthday.
This period is the most critical in a young man’s life. Between 10 and 18 years old…you begin to face many of the major decisions in your life; your first relationships, becoming a tax payer, choosing a career, graduating, paying rent, going away to school or staying home, enlisting in the armed forces, saving for retirement…yes, YES…this is where it starts or at least it should. You also begin to inherit significant responsibilities as a male; driving, voting, beginning to provide for yourself and your family…even enforcement of the law is different for you as an adult now. So your decisions are weighted differently…and if you’re lucky your parents, or those persons responsible for rearing you, have given you the tools to begin to walk on these new paths to manhood. If you’re not so lucky, like a lot of us, you can easily slide into a recurring dilemma of squandering your future on one bad decision after another. It’s not to say that young women don’t have these challenges but our positive young men need guidance in disproportionate ratios.
When I say positive young men, I mean the young adults that are doing the right thing but are “not cool”. The “nerdy” individuals that picked on because of their excellence. I target the kids that are just average but see what’s correct and right in the world and pursue it. These young adults are questioning whether they should stay on the right path. They are not getting the recognition to keep doing the right thing and to keep walking the path that’s not like everyone else. The media, the social outlets, the community embraces the nonsense for monetary gains and this embrace confuses the young positive men that try to find the logic in doing the right thing. The images and representation put in front of them don’t mirror who they desire to be. Those are the individuals that I find motivation to speak to. I want them to know that this is just the beginning of their success.
I want to reinforce that positive foundation, avoid those pitfalls and find advice and encouragement about your future. Your life is just beginning and every decision from here on out will set you on a course to adulthood. My blog, excuse me, your blog is a space where you can ask for advice and get it. I want you to learn from my mistakes. So welcome to a place to help you navigate through this period in your life. Keep doing what’s right and have faith that it will get better beyond your dreams.
I will post on a weekly basis. I tend to post on Sunday to get the week started. Please enjoy this blog, please comment or follow me!
Robert S. Smith aka “MPM”
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men…” Frederick Douglass
2013 – Current National Vice Chairman Concerned Black Men, Inc.
2013 – Founder of Middle Passage Mentor Blog
2010 – Current DC Chapter Delegate & Membership Chair for the Concerned Black Men, Inc.
2003 – Current Executive Board member of DC Chapter of Concerned Black Men, Inc.
2005 – 2007 President of DC Chapter of Concerned Black Men, Inc.
2003 – 2005 Vice-President of DC Chapter of Concerned Black Men, Inc.
2003 – College for Kids Program Co-Keynote Speaker
2002 – College for Kids Program Mentor
2000 – Mentors Inc. Mentor
The Versatile Blogger Award November 2013
Anthony Bowen Elementary School Certificate of Appreciation 2008
Drew-Freeman Middle School Certificate of Appreciation 2006
Project Give Back Certificate of Appreciation 2004