Saving our brothers

April 17, 2014

“Too often we define a man’s success by what he
has rather than who he is.”

Those are the words of Tony Dungy from his book “Uncommon Manhood: Secrets to what it means to be a Man.” For those who do not remember, Coach Dungy was the first African American coach to win a Super Bowl with the NFL Colts (Peyton Manning was the quarterback). In addition, he coached several years in the NFL before retiring, played defensive back with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1977-78) winning a Super Bowl, played quarterback at the University of Minnesota. He was one of the most respected and popular coaches in the league. Through his life colleagues, friends and players considered him to be a family man of great faith and Christian character.
Throughout his book he lays out in specific details what it takes to be a man. This includes developing a core of character, honesty, integrity, humility, stewardship and courage. He also talks about loving your family, lifting friends and others, fulfilling your potential, image, mission and living your faith. The book is remarkable from a brother who has made such an impact upon us without us really knowing what that really means or look like. He has led the way in pro sports and has been a true inspiration for other brothers to follow in his footsteps.
Today, as never before our African American men need such role models that have endured and overcome great odds to be where they are, but are now actively engaged in trying to help other brothers find their way. With so many social pressures and mixed messages, the journey for most African American men today continues to be one of tremendous struggle, frustration and pain. And when you factor in the growing issues of unemployment, lack of education, high rates of incarceration, health disparity and the use of drugs and alcohol, the challenges for black men is alarming.
The question that remains is what can be done to help and save our brothers? That question is quite difficult and complex. Depending on who you talk to, one answer does not fix all situations, cities and communities. But there are several programs and initiatives that are working, including the National Fatherhood Initiative, Stay At-Home Dads, Men of Color Initiative, Black Male Engagement, Fatherhood Network, Golden Dads and All Pro Dad. Let us not forget another and perhaps a greater influence… going back to church/house of worship/temple and building a solid spiritual foundation. That really works.
Dr. Andrew Calhoun, can be contacted at, Twitter #AC53, or call 414-571-5015. You can hear Dr. Calhoun each Sunday at Grace Fellowship Church, 3879 N. Port Washington Rd. Milwaukee.