According to research done by Dr. Shelia Webb, former Health Department Director for the City of New Orleans, African Americans survived slavery and had formed families, but after the dual calamities of Jim Crow discrimination which denied many black men meaningful employment, and welfare which would not assist a family if the man was in the home, unemployed men were forced to leave for their women and children to receive assistance, and these fatherless homes produced sons who lives had taught them that men don’t raise or support children.
By parading successful men who are proud fathers before them we offer our boys the opportunity to feel how we feel about ourselves and what we can do for those who rely on us for support. Also by bringing to them resources to help enhance their school experience we model the very behavior we want to inspire in them, men making life better for children.
The Silverback Society approach is planned, based on the boys emotional needs and is repeatable and trainable. If the military can turn hip-hoppers and punk-rockers into Marines in 12 weeks surely, we can open boys eyes to their futures in a school year, and we've done it and its not even hard, it just takes time, and consistency.
MENTORS - Two to four Silverback Mentors (who are men who have achieved responsible respected manhood) are needed for each troupe of 15- 30 boys (all the eighth grade boys at a school). We will train Mentors in 100% positive classroom management techniques.
SPEAKERS - Role Model speakers rotate through the troupes to share their stories and detail a variety of pathways used by men who have often had to climb from difficult situations to achieve their success.
ANGELS - And yes, we need a few “Angels”, folk who will help us with resources.