By Tokiwa T. Smith, San Francisco/Oakland Contributor
For several years, there has been much attention on the state of African American males in the country, as they are disproportionately represented by negative statistics in educational attainment, school suspensions, unemployment, violence, incarceration, and negative images in the media.
Mr. Brandon Frame, the Chief Visionary Officer of the website, The Black Man Can, aims to change these negative images through features such as ‘Positive Black Male News’ and ‘League of EXTRAordinary Black Men.’ A native of Hartford, Connecticut and a graduate of Morehouse College, he is also the Director of Business Partnerships and Program Development at High School Inc. and the co-owner of Final Frames, a line of men’s neckwear.
The Black Man Can’s newest project is Define Yourself Redefine the World: A Guided Journal for Black Boys and Men, a book created to motivate, enlighten, inspire, and to get young black men to think about their future. The book includes inspirational quotes and bios from African American men who can serve as positive role models for its readers. It also includes Essential Questions for the readers to plan their future in areas such as Education, Career Advice, and Leadership and Relationships. This journal gives the readers plenty of space to write down their thoughts and is a great guide towards self-discovery for any young man that reads it. “The more you become aware of yourself, the easier it becomes to have a meaningful impact on others,” says Brandon Frame.
Read on to learn more about Brandon’s goals for his new journal and how it aims to counteract negative images of black males in the media.
With the current focus on African American males and their achievement, how does your new book and website counteract negative images of black males in the media?
Define Yourself Redefine the World and theblackmancan.org counteract the negative images by providing the positive contradiction to the prevailing Black Male image of today. The journal makes a point to assist in turning statistics into solutions. The concept of manhood is the call of a lifetime and through self-reflections via writing in the journal, Black males will be able to learn more about who they are, build their critical consciousness and show up in the most vibrant and authentic way possible. Theblackmancan.org is the #1 source for positive images and narratives of Black Men and Boys. The different sections all contribute to actively promoting a positive Black Male image. I receive lots of emails from people thanking me for providing them with a media outlet in which they can see black men making a difference in the community and bringing out the best in boys.
Your book has quotes from a diverse set of African American men. Why was it important for you to include these quotes as well as the bios of these men?
It was important to include these quotes because all of the men I quoted are featured in the League of EXTRAordinary Black Men section on theblackmancan.org. It is because they allowed me the honor and privilege to feature them that the journal exists. Now, their words can transcend time and empower black boys and men everywhere.
What do you hope the young men will walk away with after reading the book?
It’s all in the title. After reading and writing in the journal I expect a young man to have defined himself so he can go out and redefine the world. He will see all of his potential and go forth to make measurable contributions to society.
Visit the website at www.theblackmancan.org and for more information on the book, visit here.