Jun 23, 2014|
Is it easier to raise healthy children than to fix broken men? African American social reformer & writer & statesman, Frederick Douglas said absolutely YES! Can a group of local men called The Silverback Society impact a serious social issue in New Orleans and change the lives of young black men by making that philosophy their mantra and focus? Their goal is to mentor & groom boys for adulthood and to prepare them for their roles as fathers to the next generation. They start mentoring boys in middle school by teaching them the basic foundation for manhood: respect and responsibility. With this positive approach they show the boys that they are on the way to a positive lifestyle that they can be proud of and can pass on to their children.
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
What's trending in sports, news, and entertainment?
Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
-- been missing all him all my main -- I was little under the weather on Thursday and Friday and now it's another week but feeling good and I hope you are -- hoping that a beautiful weekend. And I hope this is gonna start your week off great -- I am very excited about our programs today. The first in particular because I injured in here had such admiration. For what these men are doing nominee get back to. Our second program is one that is kind of the talk of the town. What in the world is the governor doing. With the big tolling of common core. Well we've got some big hitters in studio. We're going to be talking about it. And trying to figure it out and if you have any thoughts please don't hesitate to join in that conversation. And our third hour as we have done since day one this -- get to know our neighborhoods. And I'm very excited that. Bergen do one of our from the front porch and it's going to be the fall -- Saint John neighborhood. -- a lot of good things happening but. As our guest will say lots of problems too so I hope you'll stay with with this for the but we begin with. Frederick Douglass said it is easier to raise healthy children than to fix broken man. That's a philosophy of a group of men in this community and adopted when they founded the Silverbacks society. Their goal is to -- -- and groomed boys for adulthood. And to prepare them for their roles says fathers to the next generation. They start mentoring the boys in middle school by teaching them the basic foundation for manhood. Respect and responsibility. Joining us to talk about a movement that is making a difference. Is silver -- society co-founder. And executive director Lloyd dance. Don't want Hernandez an early Silverbacks society mentor. And David -- one of the newest silver -- mentors. As a seldom been looking forward to this I'm gonna give credit where credit is due -- Because I saw the two stories that the great Norman Robinson did I was so moved. I knew that you all existed I don't think I have the big comprehensive. And vision that that he put together those two pieces. Cannot wait to hear about exactly what you do but I'm just reminded. This can lead at one of the most meaningful moments of those two pieces -- when Norman interviewed in the second segment many school principal. And he looked at her and said were you surprised looking at the success of these young men in their scores. Were you surprised and she hesitated for like a milliseconds. And she said very strongly now. Because I always saw in them. What they see in themselves. And I thought that is the essence of at all to be able to tap into someone. That they are special that they can contribute that they are good people that they can be productive. And and this is what you group is doing. And huge -- and we season children. Whose assets. Is that the responsibility to air reviewed generation. Is the preparation. To production in preparation of the next generation that's really. The definition of life -- life begets life. And so sometimes. We we tend to look at children as it is. Particularly children who have grown up in difficult situations. As liabilities that we take the position that he's on assets that if we don't develop. We're gonna continue to have the problems that we have been now which is basically problems of undeveloped children. And unfortunately. We have a cyclical problem. Apartment is dead began and retirement and in our history. When Jim Crow overlapped welfare. And so men who hall pressed to earn a living. Because it was difficult for me get a job you're an -- remember the days when Blackmon couldn't ride even jump -- -- garbage trucks. They were kept even from network. And so when that reality overlap with the state coming through. And offering off financial resources to families. As long as the man we're not there. Created a situation where men were not in France. I always like to quote it is. Back in. It is 179 years. This was asked the -- It's 80% of African Americans -- manner. This is after the trauma slavery and folks got themselves together and form mountains. But if you fastball in 1990. Only 4%. And two things that happened between what I stated that overlap of follow. Then I'd be -- to find work. And state government through and say that we will support the children and women -- -- -- a man and a house. And once a little boy grew up in that situation no. His understanding of life was that Mendel raise children. -- men on not all what families need to support there. And so we find -- sells 234 generations down the road where that's created an entire approach. -- -- noticed that cyclical reality to them and don't raise children and and and expectation of a boy to figure out that I'm supposed to be -- something. So that I can take care much round -- isn't misplaced expectation because he doesn't have examples of that in his life and news and arm and so what we -- as a silverback society. Is we can comment so boy's life at that point. You know puberty. When there when you start wanted to express their man. And we provide them with -- examples and trying. It helps them channel their manhood into a man who that they can be a problem. -- is all about Mansour predictable and the thought about a man in this way but we get them understand that it's a better swear. When you get -- its way from which can do for people. Rather than what you do to people. The pursuit of rich. Is fueling the violence in our commitments. Sort of violence in our communities has basically been fueled by billboards planting a Visio where it talks. Just having misplaced. Sense of what manhood real news. Yeah like entourage are going from the jump in here even in on the youngest. Prophesy. Going up it he's our housing project 1950. -- just had a conversation with my father. There was a man in the house -- there was a man and the house and a desire housing project we lived there from. I was born there. And we left in 1969. But again. I don't recall not giving a mail in any. Of my friend told I mean there was a man in that house so that was important is exactly what you say. So who's so Richard you were not confused about you know not and that routed that we knew who ran the house without a doubt. And yet we're now seeing with your organization actually some other organizations. That. You these young guys these young boys need to see. More fatherhood. Is of great value Korea and -- vote where and I and I. On totally understand what you're saying about that great storm love what happened. But now we're recognizing it. And grabbing these kids -- men matter. Are important. And yet how do we get to the man who have children that are participating. What I think what -- our position news is that you raised them. The reason you know the bars that we all work and we're all in seven -- it is the way from. Become beamed into folders in the community. And that's our position our position is is that we have guards are raised. Influenced a generation of bars -- I think what makes our work unique is that it's systematic. And it is though it is designed. To actually impact every little boy who's in public school in the city as he pets is to -- -- We're gonna have to take a break and come back we're gonna pick it up right there. And we're gonna talk about what the silverback society mentors do specifically in those classrooms right after this I'm Angela under the W. We're back talking with lawyer Dennis and it's just Juan Hernandez and David Duran. They are all part of the Silverbacks society which is an organization. It's reaching young man teaching them really to be young men nor. To be great young man her. So we left it to where you go into the schools so take -- I'm I'm alleged want bonds got bon Menendez. Camel boardroom. Poll found passed all the words were -- And you love this story. To a man who literally I was I was frustrated I was I was angry go. (%expletive) would you take this minimum your head -- big -- we figured it out. And end the church yard after the past this ceremony. Juan Hernandez and wind steel walked out independently and in though it's that the time. And suited we wanna help you continuous work. And so JaJuan has been witness rule. Malone tournament I don't think since 20082000. And his longest standing in a mentor that we have and chairman of Al Gore. So -- his voluntary you're wrong on a couple of levels of I want to watch until about what we do with the -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I knew passed laws -- of course lawyers for a lot of this work story just -- how small our communities all. Pastors younger brother Patrick. On schooling goes in first grade and so I knew what kind of man passed was. Korean admiration for Lloyd from years. And as I tell -- who doesn't like please say this but a lot of us started to work because of the respect actually. Formal in his past. For children. So. When I was invited initially to -- and in an assistant Terry Anderson. Which Wednesday. Elementary school outages at. I was excited -- to really busy time in my life Troutman it was a really mean it. The time that was needed so I stepped away for a minute. Then unfortunately pastor died which really broke all the parts collect there it is Tuesday at covenant is is really important to the community. And Algiers. End and after. We were all standing around churchgoer. Is it just became obvious to me and to doctors -- that we had to do -- was necessary. Work continues. Because I looked in the faces of those young men and I understood. What they took away from the time that we spent so. We committed ourselves to building program and I'd pass it already laid out. When I think was a really good curriculum that was -- over six weeks. Allow me into common to those -- in the way this war axes. The school will assemble all of its eighth grade boys for us. On a particular day at a particular -- we like to do would around watched time. Because it's less onerous on the volunteers and is less onerous on the school administration as well. But the weekend to go and it's -- and now with the Asia and we talk about real life issues in one of the keys to spending time with. Is that we're battle. To mislead. We're to Colombia and it tells him about the reality. And allow their reality to serve as an example for dale. But how they can achieve whatever it is sent out -- And we typically start this election's all with re defining success. So success is not associated. Any longer for him with a golf. Based on comic are taken. Stock based on how big house has -- limits are really simple principle. Successes simply based appoint your ability to provide for take care of those important. -- that your mother your sister your children your wife. Your family whatever that means for use that success. That you can achieve that success at the circle K food store. If that provides the sense that you -- -- -- the weep when we changed that parent aren't. In terms of how they see success in their lives they began to challenge all bills. Notions that they. And then we start talking about the curriculum over six week period of time doing that time we talk about basic principles of respect. You know we talk about careers of Lloyd has a wonderful thing he's put together callables ruse that you can choose those that have to choose you. And we really challenged the notion of how they get to be that football player that basketball play. Or the notion that everyone doesn't become. What else was available to you and how do you put yourself in the position to do those days and it's amazing. Look at these young man dies when that reality strikes there. They begin to rethink that whole process for themselves. So respect that six weeks -- -- with as us with all the young men in the eighth grade at the six weeks worked well we don't talk about the curriculum. Wouldn't say let's call. Now let's go outside it's pretty simple principle what we lord. Is that it's really important for young men to have other men that are important to them. Watched him play. There it's in there if that's something that's familiar to just watch them wrong with the football there's cause or an all. What I can do there but we also take that opportunity spent time with them individually you may see is sitting on the side -- talked on the basketball school. But by that time they've learned a couple of things about. -- a delicate count because usage you going to be here every Wednesday at 11 o'clock. -- -- -- -- On Wednesday level where there. Even if they're not that we show what they begin to realize that count because a lot of them have been allies have plans on vigorously let them. So what we've established that -- -- a lot of respect. Trust holding the current trusting back in sharing with us. And they allow us to help them understand and -- tool boxes to make decisions. And an impact mr. -- one other thing is that they're overdue after the six weeks than the kind of all the leverage built -- -- -- So the kids agreed to six weeks of lessons. And immigrants -- -- so and ought to close the ghost of the -- him from. Kind of boosts it to six weeks of that since and now when we get to their parent foreign. We have the first thirty minutes of the session -- speaker. So when the speaker finishes speaking there we go spend thirty minutes down in your. So little leverage as built in there -- you know really it will ask if they accuse original image is that many of them have not learned. Control and so. So really both companies like OK it's almost always known that they'll take it'll also -- but most animal we know mr. All Alitalia and and it went in Austin now let's let's -- them. But after they've done and like 23 times then this self control becomes automatic and nobody go down. Going Kirsten we just reminded them that they were on their own. And over the period of what we do what they learned is. How to do which have to do. So you can do which you want to do. Well the law and I think it's important to to say to Angela in the audience as you know we are. But challenging the paradigm fought an action within the school building itself there when we walk in the door. Many times young men have maybe -- discipline issues in some cases. You may see a different kind of environment with maybe. Of young men running around the school building itself but -- we've spent time with. Save themselves. Switch what happens in that culture and they begin running a more disciplined orderly culture so these young eighth grade boys who are indicating a system. Are at the top of the pyramid. And we'd make them understand that they're responsible for those other young wars. Or in the rest of those Christmas -- watching -- watching everything you do everything you say so did they start acting with responsibility. Mr. most interesting thing to watch and summit -- that we do is we don't going challenging the teachers these -- they're built. Their show we're not confident to take over where common and augment what you do. And help you maybe find a better way to do it I -- one of the things that used to bug me morning things that walked in to build. It could be some teacher screaming at the top of his our laws at this young. And you don't want to be raped a young man like are you got -- you've got -- -- -- that young man's gonna spend his time time to show you what it means to respect in whichever way he perceives that can be. And so one of the things we do is we take that away from. And we site to a -- this is just about you -- me have a conversation. I'm not gonna -- I'm not gonna fuss with you we're not gonna argue lord does this wonderful exercise that he taught me one day. You know what we're gonna go to the newsrooms I wanna hear that exercise and stay with -- everyone as we continue to talk to them centers of the silver -- society I'm Angela and -- -- -- we are back talking to me. The -- society organization that's going into. Into the lives of eighth grade boys and getting them on course as -- And then that's sort of the bottom line and we were talking about well -- Juan Hernandez one of the mentors a lesson that's a lawyer -- It's so wanted to as we talk about the self control you know these young men around on the street. And and they find themselves in situations where they react without thinking -- and we all. It's -- -- -- reacted -- relief it is bounce off each other like really good well there are well below it started this exercise about self control. And I thought it was so amazing when I watched him work the first time we had a class of young men were little rowdy and that's when trouble comes settling them down. The law and had them stand up at a -- And he just made the whole wrong why. And for three minutes. He made them stay in this two minutes he made him stay in there with their eyes close. While he talked to them softly. About notions of success can you see yourself buying that -- -- Can you see yourself to win that thing too -- for a passion for it for three minutes they could move. They couldn't talk they had to keep our schools. And they just had to pictured themselves. Where they wanted to be. That the end at three minutes session lord told them okay you can open you know lies and I'll bet -- just -- first -- -- -- -- with the -- do -- three minutes. That that's a victory -- -- -- assurance of victory and it was -- news later on -- found out that's called true and send them to -- I'm not there are. Paula -- Annoyance let's do it but David -- is in -- Person came in because you originally were one of the speakers. Yes there's an aspect of the program where -- -- Individuals from the business community. Civic community coming in just tell this story. How they grew up. How indeed get to be where they are -- I go way way back we've we've done other things. And I was be remiss if I didn't mention I come from an organization called progressive minute -- and that's a whole different and we've gone into the schools will be for that we coach and it'll be -- -- going to the schools and rectitude cute we would go and speak to be a great voice. As groups. So we try to mental issue of the -- just didn't have that play. And we're going next -- to come in as a speaker with a Silverbacks. In a light went off -- everything's in place. So I got my group to buy into. What annoys me it was doing like so. -- -- -- this year we came aboard as silverback meant to us. And that's what he's talking about he's gonna reach out to the community get more organizations but back to my story. Which is able to do -- tell them. What I did you know going up in his housing projects schools I went to. My life my key is one of my proudest moments is that that three men. All of them -- graduates at Howard University. I mean that's just so very very proud. A cop ocean in my life and I want to be able to go back into schools and his tell all these -- I've been where you've been sent my son to do and we use that game and you can be success. And. And what's amazing news is -- -- held in stores. Originally when that when we started the program I thought it is good to know is going to be. They program problem in attention board member when these men and start telling you stores in -- -- about the drug be it's starting off where and when it was notable is like down. And they tell you stores about it progressed in line. The kids on life all the name outs on the unit -- daylight while now and and I remember the first time in his life. These kids a stock. Payouts are that that's the word on eighteen to here. Well and when one of us tells -- -- as we've got some stories. What did you unaware fellas that is -- the fire chief and it's down. On terror quality who talks about you know they won't food stamps would neuter it didn't go -- good for -- mark. Noble when they ran out they knew we were going to be hunger for a couple of weeks. -- -- and tells a story about being one of the few siblings that even made it toward Dalton. So when this -- tell these stories. To these little boys who -- went off to find themselves -- very very difficult situation. After the season and tell the story is about quality pitches you -- literally can turn around CO kissel was thrown which you. -- if you didn't if we did it was strongly -- You know man. So we bring a whole different meaning and so today for is manned us. You know man not music to accept responsibility. For yourself. You know it's easy to ease when there are difficult lives. If you don't have that balance of hearing guys like you some who have been through it to varying degrees and look where you are. Then you never believed it can happen right that's the best as the debt and reduce doesn't eighth grade boys probably. Bullied by everything you're saying still go home to the same circumstance. That you know work. Once you assume the life. And you know it's there. Know when we finish with these kids they don't wonder if they can do they know they can do they've seen the night. They've heard man who has been through what they have been through and who have achieved. Really young man -- Lawrence Clovis. Whose dog grew up in some some very difficult situations ended up in the situation where the system finished raising. You know we met him -- -- second year of our program when he's going to college this year. You know and he called -- logo of the day because he wanted to use me as a reference I hadn't heard from Lawrence and filed with the Houston where we did -- and settlement -- And Lawrence's bills by holding. All of the stuff that we -- You know and standing firm on our he's -- answer to warrant -- program on its so I don't know which is the honorary program under our program well Warren Warren -- -- -- -- I thought I needed most Silverbacks in my program that's what you when you compare biscuits interview. To an interview of the other boys that we bridged that you just no comparison this kid understands what -- you for a lord so what should I I I just fight the notion that once someone singing -- light that they -- -- -- -- But wouldn't take another break we're gonna come right back stay with this I'm Angela I'm definitely well. What may have started as a conversation between Floyd Dennis and I am very beloved pastor. Now in heaven. But the Silverbacks society was born and it was borne out with the understanding that. African American men needed to reach into the lives of young boys. Well who did not have fathers did not have male leaders and they've gone into schools this is now seven years in the making. And it needs to be said that I love this the Kellogg foundation which is probably one of the most respected foundations in the country. Found these people and have given them a three year grant and you're getting tremendous local support from businesses which says volumes. You still means no more man. It's -- -- -- more American as we grew renewed resources on them and lived long. Well so. We started off as a as a strictly volunteer organization were Lloyd was basically managing all of this while managing his full time business. There are few of us who came to -- about a year -- so so Lloyd there was one gentleman particular I won't say is bankers who -- man is like the recognition. But he carried the lord -- -- law of the kids can afford for you to do this respect. We need you to. Become full time director -- literally stopped his business. And became a full time executive director and commitment these young -- Now we've deployed to one mention -- we are building an organization. That has an infrastructure as you've heard fifty. Volunteers. We try to do this on the way that doesn't infringe upon the volunteers time with their own families right so it's typically an outward toward the day. As soon as close to the lunchtime -- as possible once a week once a week in the school buildings so you're not taking the children anyway. So it's it's we try to make it as as easy as possible for these men to comment in -- -- work. But in addition to -- one that we always amazed at the level of detection people starting to pay to us. And asking us to come into their school buildings we've got a waiting list of schools were asking us to comment. But we can only grow so fast and the thing that we wanna be careful about. Is growing faster than we are able to manage that so we did seven schools this year obviously has to do thirteen schools next year. We have a board of director's assistant managing organization with boy we're looking to build that infrastructure a bit more as time goes on. Lloyd or flu will be bringing in wanna to a divisions helped him and a sea organization. But in addition to that we can always use more -- two wars and and and listen all you wonderful men out there -- Who love children and -- commit yourself to helping a child in his life. But this doesn't take your money. This doesn't take away from your existing life it just -- you be willing to give a little time to young man who could use your time. We have a web sites to silverback society dot com. Please if you have some moments go to that website take a look at what we do which described it took a lot of but we aren't we do it. You can become part of -- just going to that web site and clicking on the -- that invites you to -- and no rush to guide. And I want it on on and dad David Duran is what we and his group the growth amend laws. -- what our hope is the beginning of the new trend. And this year. Another club -- region dues and this common -- as an organization and I don't take over as the go to school once Wednesday's drew years training. And the prints all shrine there's a prominent abort. So what we're saying is that as they re not a social organization -- not a clone but when you have an infrastructure and real or continue to build an infrastructure. -- will allow all of these men to do what is already and it ought to do -- because when I talked to these groups will be fine as do assembly that to you know it's. That it fits and starts of of getting involved in community. But everybody's -- -- -- are about as I've found is you know. And is is very difficult for anybody to focus on. Keep an -- Yeah I think that in our final minutes yeah I don't wanna run time the bottom line of this is. There's anybody in the city who was concerned about crime and there isn't naming the city was concerned that young black men are killing young black man it's that simple. This group is turning. That the tied for these young man they're helping them become men. In all the right ways and if it's an opportunity for them to live not a sad desperate. Sometimes in complete -- but a full life. And you're teaching them which sadly they didn't have but now they do. Which is the road we're giving them tool boxes at 2 o'clock. In the next hopefully. -- continues you will see the crime rate go down because those young man that started out with dust has fourteen year old juvenile gonna be twenty. Whether it's funny because they don't Wear respect. -- women against one another in the parks in and different things gone on in the city. They come back until the sadistic or ma'am add another -- -- so are difficult. Hum -- we have a good time when those kick and we're talking about a civil. So we've given them. Nobody is did the first thing they know is what they mean you know the -- Beckett they bring respect ignored their respect. And you don't have to do their male dominant strain and been on aptitude at their payments based on -- can be too. Because with Silva eventually Nobel retail we've looking forward to something better and we just like one another we -- We're Smart we think we we have a future and we go on tour. -- And I know that and I just wanted -- and where we started. The moment that principle recognized. That. You'll what you did to is light the fire in them that they could feed themselves. And from that. Higher test scores and I mean it's it's the beginning of this -- and from higher test scores hopefully they'll get scholarships so we'll have a dream when they wanna do go to college. And you've got a good citizens. And ultimately good father. Angela at the schools where Al Gore is or the dominate the academic who. I'll see dentists appointment or debt. -- -- I heard that and I I hope -- hearing the applause thank you thank you very much Lloyd and the lawn and David for all that you do. Thank you for telling this story it's silver but WW dot silverback society dot com. We'll be right back to France and.