Background


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

CIVIC RESUME

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

Awards:

The Versatile Blogger Award  November 2013

http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com

Anthony Bowen Elementary School Certificate of Appreciation 2008

Drew-Freeman Middle School Certificate of Appreciation 2006

Project Give Back Certificate of Appreciation 2004

11 responses to “Background

  1. We have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. You have such a positive message and a beautiful calling. Our focus is youth and you are an inspiration to us.
    Here is a link to the rules: http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/vba-rules/

    • WoW…thank you so much!!! This definitely inspires me! Wait…even with the grammatical errors?!?! LOL. I will follow you on Twitter, my first I think!

    • 7 things about me.
      1> My hobbies are traveling, golfing, tennis and Muay Thai…Thailand kickboxing.
      2> I’m a certified scuba diver.
      3> I’m the Vice Chairman of the National Organization of Concerned Black Men, Inc.
      4> I love Bermuda.
      5> I’m finally dating someone that I would marry.
      6> I live in Washington, DC
      7> My favorite people are my uncle Rusty, Muhammad Ali, Will Smith and Sidney Poitier.

    • We don’t even notice grammatical errors. Sometimes when we look back over our blogs we see so many mistakes and wonder how they got there. But it isn’t about perfect grammar, it is about the message!

      As far as your #7 fact, we would have to agree. We love them too, except for your uncle because we don’t know him. Although, I’m sure we would like him if we did.

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  4. You are so awesome! I do not think I have read anything like that before.
    So wonderful to find someone with a few unique thoughts on this issue.
    Really.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is needed
    on the web, someone with a little originality!

  5. ncdillard

    congratulations on your blogger award…that’s good stuff!

  6. SaranneStylezz

    Hi There:

    Keep being a good role model and positive force within the black community and with the portion that has been given to you. It’s actually something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while.

    I’ve just started reading your blog and I find your points of view pretty interesting sine social issues are near to my heart.
    With regards to the many crisis that confront the black community, it just seems that the black community ( and nuclear black family) was stronger prior to the civil rights movement/ integration and before welfare and the crack reign of the 80s and 90s tore down the family (I can say a lot about this, but I will digress…) . The moment black husbands/fathers were eliminated from the home in exchange for welfare benefits, that was the beginning of the end for the collective strong black families. There was a time when the African American community possessed a strong culture of marriage and even more so than any other people group in the US. Now there is this crisis…. Now our youth aspire to be pimps, hoes, and thugs. So sad.

    I think intentional and dedicated mentorship is so important and vital. Especially when you are competing against such destructive social forces as the Bloods, Crips, even figures like Chief Keef, Lil Wayne, etc. etc. Keep aspiring to be an inspiration and keep giving back.

    Best,

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