Black Churches In Mobile Teach Parenting Skills to Inner City Parents

Here is some good news.

Churches in Mobile, AL have joined together to develop and conduct a program on black parenting skills. provides details of their efforts:

“Families need help right now. We’re in a crisis”, says Mobile County Juvenile Court Judge Edmond Naman. In a meeting recently with the WKRG News 5 Crime Solutions Task Force, Judge Naman said the county is exploring new ways of reaching out to families before kids get into trouble.

But, local pastors have already implemented a curriculum the judge is very impressed with, Effective Black Parenting. It is a 15 week skill building program that teaches adults how to better communicate with African American Children.

“it’s a culture difference..where in a caucasian family it’s usually time out. But, in an African American family, it’s I’m fixing to get this belt.. and tear you behind up”, says Sherman Tate, a graduate of the Effective Black Parenting program.

The entire article and accompanying video deserve a look, especially from those of you who are looking for ideas to positively impact your communities.

Political Miscellany 6/20/08

The Hill reported plans by Barack Obama to meet with his fellow Congressional Black Caucus members on Thursday (6/19). Relations within the CBC are said to be strained due to the hotly contested presidential primary. Many members of the CBC backed Sen Hillary Clinton, even though black voters overwhelmingly supported Obama.

Obama previously met privately with a group of religious leaders, including megachurch pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes, and Rev Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The meeting was held to solicit their input on national and world issues, and not necessarily to get their endorsements.

About 30 people were at the meeting. In addition to Jakes, three other prominent members of the black church were present: the Rev. Stephen Thurston, head of the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., a historically black denomination; the Rev. T. Dewitt Smith, president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc., which was home to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders; and Bishop Phillip Robert Cousin Sr., an A.M.E. clergyman and former NAACP board member.

Other reported attendees were conservative Catholic constitutional lawyer Doug Kmiec; evangelical author Max Lucado of San Antonio; Cameron Strang, founder of Relevant Media, which is aimed at young Christians; the Rev. Luis Cortes of Esperanza USA; and Paul Corts, president of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities.

As they say, politics makes strange bedfellows. Consider the case of Sen Barack Obama and Georgia congressman John Barrow.

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Obama Father’s Day Speech Criticizes Absent Black Fathers

Sen Barack Obama gave a speech on Sunday – Father’s Day – where he criticized absent black fathers.

It’s something Obama knows about, first hand. His father, a Kenyan, left the United States when Barack was two years old. Barack would see his father just one more time after that.

As noted in his speech:

But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.

You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled – doubled – since we were children. We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

How many times in the last year has this city lost a child at the hands of another child? How many times have our hearts stopped in the middle of the night with the sound of a gunshot or a siren? How many teenagers have we seen hanging around on street corners when they should be sitting in a classroom? How many are sitting in prison when they should be working, or at least looking for a job? How many in this generation are we willing to lose to poverty or violence or addiction? How many?

…But we also need families to raise our children. We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child – it’s the courage to raise one.

We need to help all the mothers out there who are raising these kids by themselves; the mothers who drop them off at school, go to work, pick up them up in the afternoon, work another shift, get dinner, make lunches, pay the bills, fix the house, and all the other things it takes both parents to do. So many of these women are doing a heroic job, but they need support. They need another parent. Their children need another parent. That’s what keeps their foundation strong. It’s what keeps the foundation of our country strong.

The prepared text of the speech is in this article in the Huffington Post. But note that, Obama’s actual speech does differ in places from the prepared text.

The speech was given at Apostolic Church of God on Chicago’s South Side.