On Friday, former NBA all-star and entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced he will help attract more private-sector partners to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative established to empower and improve the lives of young men of color. As a result, over 200 African-American men signed an open letter at the African-American Policy Forum urging the President to include women and girls.
“We write as African-American men who have supported your presidency, stood behind you when the inevitable racist challenges to your authority have emerged, and have understood that our hopes would be tempered by the political realities that you would encounter,” reads the letter. “While we continue to support your presidency, we write both out of a sense of mutual respect and personal responsibility to address what we believe to be the unfortunate missteps in the My Brothers Keeper initiative (MBK). In short, in lifting up only the challenges that face males of color, MBK — in the absence of any comparable initiative for females — forces us to ask where the complex lives of black women and black girls fit into the White House’s vision of racial justice?”