Black teenagers need role models to divert them from a world of gangs and criminality, according to a new study.

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Young black men are apparently being increasingly lured into trouble by rap stars, celebrities and sportsmen who glamorise the wrong sort of lifestyle. According to Reach, a Government advisory panel, this is causing them to have low aspirations resulting in them to drop out of school and be drawn into gang-related trouble.

The problem is so widespread that it could cost the UK £24 billion over the next 50 years in terms of lost taxes, criminal justice and healthcare costs. In order to curb this trend black men need to be inspired by successful businessmen, lawyers and doctors to replace the gangster role models that exist today.

The report, which was commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government, wants a national programme to encourage successful professionals to become mentors for black urban teenagers. It also says that there should be stronger relationships between teachers and the parents of black boys and urges Ofsted, the school inspection body, to ensure that schools strive to close the academic gap between black and white pupils.

The report recommends the formation of a national umbrella organisation to bring together relevant voluntary groups which face “significant barriers” to getting funding from the Government. There are growing concerns that young, black men are more likely than their white peers to be excluded from school, become victims of crime, or be jailed for committing offences.

Clive Lewis, the chairman of Reach, said: “What we need to do is reach the generations who are coming up behind today’s young people. “There is an urgent need for a change of thinking about some of the role models that our young people are drawn to.

“We need to shift focus from rap stars, sports personalities and celebrities to successful businessmen, lawyers and doctors and show that these are professions that young black men can enter and do well in.” The group interviewed 400 young men in Nottingham, London, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham and found a strong link between low aspirations and the lure of the gang culture.

Over the last year there have been a series of murders and gun crimes carried out by young black men in urban areas. In inquest is currently being heard for Jesse James, the 15-year-old schoolboy who was shot dead as he rode his bike in Moss Side, Manchester last September.

A few days after his death another black teenager Nathan Williams, 17, was killed near his home in Nottingham. In February this year three black teenagers were shot and killed in 11 days in South London.

Source: Telegraph – UK

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  • SO FAR….speaking from experience the FEW well mannered and successful men no matter the race but especially the FEW Black Men that Ive come accross that have it together have been raised by their MOM!!!

    and yes their taken….it’s really sad that I have to cling so tight to my son and daughter because of the mess they see everyday no matter the environment…I do my best to raise my children to want the best and be the best in life but again you don’t have to be in a bad environment for someone ignorant to come and make things bad…and that’s where what you’ve taught them steps in.

    I feel that society should not put ALL the blame on Black Men what about the Mother’s.

    If we think about it we as women are MORE at fault because we have to be great role models for our son’s and daughter’s no matter what…married or single!

    We are the example to our son’s what a good women is…we are the example to our daughter’s of what a good women is….

    Some may disagree but think about it!

  • Ivy

    Wow, Londoners have it rough, just like we do in the US.
    leslie, I don’t think it’s that clear-cut to say “it’s the mother’s fault or it’s the father’s fault” when children go astray. Really, the responsibility first rest squarely on the shoulders of BOTH parents, whether in they are in the picture or not (and for obvious reasons in both cases). Secondarily, the responsibility lies on the sin of a global culture that increasingly glorifies and respects proponents of wealth, violence, and flagrant promiscuity over loyalty, integrity, and responsibility to self/others.

    The reason kids are so attracted to entertainers – sports, musical, or otherwise – is because these people often have attractive personalities (or at least they pretend to in order to sell records and such). Who doesn’t have an appreciation for a charismatic man, a physically attractive person, a person with a “go-getta”, competitive attitude? Especially in the US, where these are traits that we covet as a society. Don’t believe it? Turn on your television. All you see is people trying to show us all how wonderfully creative/witty/competitive/strong/sexy they are. You don’t see a lot of media personalities (that appeal directly to the Black youth community) who overall tout their intelligence or their patience or their hardworking (excluding the drug trade) qualities.

    All of this “attitude” is spilling over into the rest of the world. It looks glamorous globally, and as the global market opens up more and more, nations housing people without a voice; without real balance in their home life; without moral foundations; without true social equality/justice are going to be increasingly attracted to those sometimes negative qualities.

  • All children need positve role models. Both parents are responsible for their children and what is instill in them. I do believe there should be more community programs for kids to be apart of. If parents aren’t able to do it then look for communtiy groups. Big brother, big sister is a good group and there are lot others around, bible study something that will ingrain good values, even spending a summer with a relative that is postive can help. Anything but allowing children to sit in front of the tv and allow that to raise and babysit them.