November 21, 2006

Memo to young black men: Please grow up

Last week, I was in a studio in midtown where a popular program for black youths was being filmed. I found myself surrounded by black men, ages 18 to 35, and I was appalled.

As a father with a daughter nearly 30 years old who has never been close to marrying anyone, I was once more struck by what my offspring describes as "a lack of suitable men." She has complained often about the adolescent tendencies of young black men, as will just about any young black woman when the subject comes up.

Those who believe that America is perpetually adolescent will point at the dominance of frat-boy attitudes among successful white men and will say of the black hip-hop generation, "So what? How could they not be adolescent? They are not surrounded by examples of celebrated maturity. The society worships movie stars, wealthy athletes and talk show hosts. These are not the wisest and most mature of people."

Memo to young black men: Please grow up

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