Forum focuses on mind-set of black youth

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It's not music videos that have young people bringing guns to school and idolizing the thug life, 16-year-old Robert Hooks said.

The Academy of Richmond County sophomore said other elements affect why today's black youth are misguided.

"It has to do with where they grow up," Robert said. "They think it's cool, so they just make stupid mistakes and follow the wrong way."

Youth, parents and a panel of experts gathered Wednesday night at Tabernacle Baptist Church to brainstorm on how to improve the mind-set of today's black youth.

The forum, titled State of the Black Youth: Mis-education of a Lost Generation, was conceived after the shooting of an Augusta man by a Tubman Middle School pupil earlier this year, said Mona Gordon, an organizer of the forum.

"I just thought we need to do something," she said. "We can't just talk about it. We have to listen to the youth and let them know we care."

The panelists, which included Carol Rountree, Richmond County schools director of student services, and Sandra Wimberly, the director of the East Central Health Department, answered questions posed by young people.

The questions ranged from how to cope with not having a father figure to how to avoid pre-marital sex.

Building healthy relationships is essential to having the right answers to most of the questions posed Wednesday night, Dr. Rountree said.

"Young people are so influenced by what's going on around them," she said. "Kids need to really build relationships with parents, concerned adults and counselors. That's the key."

Robert said he faces challenges going on the right path, but socializing with positive people has helped him, and could help other youth.

"I know a lot of them won't listen to their parents, but they need people their own age or maybe a little older to show them the right way."

Ms. Gordon said Wednesday night's forum will be the first of many held at Tabernacle.

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.

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Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 09/18/08 - 03:16 am
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KUDOS to Master Robert Hooks

KUDOS to Master Robert Hooks for his wisdom and his having the courage to share it in a public forum!

iletuknow
7
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iletuknow 09/18/08 - 03:32 am
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Years and years of giveaway

Years and years of giveaway social programs,lowered standards for acceptance,ratio quotas,and the disliked affirmative action for very little return.Unfortunately now their mindset is to expect everything given to them with no effort on their part. Good luck!

jaschild
10
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jaschild 09/18/08 - 05:21 am
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concern leads to...a forum.

concern leads to...a forum. how many black youth showed up, anyway?

patriciathomas
43
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patriciathomas 09/18/08 - 05:45 am
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I think this is a step in the

I think this is a step in the right direction. The community is addressing a problem that was decades and generations in the making and it's not going to be an easy fix. Recognizing the problem is no family structure and a need to avoid out of wedlock procreation is a great place to start. Let's hope this effort is a long term one and let's hope the subsidy programs don't undercut it.

ibewalkintooldmemphis
0
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ibewalkintooldmemphis 09/18/08 - 06:18 am
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loafty goal, but this is

loafty goal, but this is probably the last time you will hear anything about it. You must have a mind before you have a mindset.

JustaVoice
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JustaVoice 09/18/08 - 06:32 am
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Teachers can be a powerful

Teachers can be a powerful influence on children. Some become wonderful mentors for disadvantaged kids, but many tend to let certain students fall through the cracks because their academic abilities are lacking and they suffer from unstable home lives. When children are not challenged, many tend to become behavioral problems. They ALL desire attention, positive or negative. I have personally changed the lives of countless young people, and if I ever lapse, my boss should fire my tired old bones. But it's hard to get rid of negligent teachers. We all agree that education begins in the home, but reality dictates that we as educators must play the cards we're dealt. There is nothing more gratifying than a May Senior hugging his ninth-grade teacher and saying "Thank You for not giving up on me." And yes, it does actually happen.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
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HYPOCRITES 08 09/18/08 - 07:10 am
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PT, what a well thought out

PT, what a well thought out comment. It is always a good thing when people try to do something positive for our community. Too bad they will always be the predictable Naysayers that never have anything constructive to add.

christian134
1
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christian134 09/18/08 - 08:06 am
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What is really bad is the

What is really bad is the fact that the youth targeted are of one particular race...What is bad are the facts that these youths, no matter the color, are not being reared in homes with parents that give one flying flip what these children are up to---To those who jump before thinking I am not referencing all but still many---People have to start giving some thought to the ones they bring into this world because one day these same individuals will be the grown-ups and you will be the "old and dispensable" ones...Think about it for a second...Family unity needs to be the particular politically correct in vogue flavor of the day, so to speak...God and parental responsibility ---not race or gender ---

godogs
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godogs 09/18/08 - 08:39 am
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I so agree with christian 134

I so agree with christian 134 Parents have got to take responsibility in their homes and be part of the school system. Parents can't send the kids to school and expect them to educate and raise their children. The male men need to start taking back their families and raising them in the home and stop standing on the street corners at the local liquor shops with a brown bag in their hand. This happens daily at one on Laney Walker right down from a school. So what impression does this give the children. It is okay to just hang out and drink on the street corner. Get back to your homes, have family dinner and have conversation with your children. That is what they are looking for, someone to listen and show them the way. We are letting the streets raise our children. What a sin.

WW1949
19
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WW1949 09/18/08 - 09:14 am
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As an employer you can see

As an employer you can see the anger in some of the younger people who apply for jobs. They suddenly realize that work is hard and the job they get is not going to pay them what they think they are worth. Education and a trade that people need is the only way to go and it starts at home with parents who are decent law abiding citizens and are willing to do what is expected of them as a parent such as spend time with your child and instill values on what is right and what is wrong. Some youth will surely slip but a large majority will make it. The one's left behind probably could never do anything meaningful anyway. MR. HOOKS IS TO BE COMMENDED FOR STANDING UP AND HELPING TO MAKE A CHANGE.

KingJames
11
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KingJames 09/18/08 - 10:00 am
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It is very rare that so many

It is very rare that so many people who normally post on here can agree on a subject. Of course, there are still those who will never have anything positive to say. Christian134, I initially felt as you do about limiting such a forum to just one group. Then I thought about some of the things that you say about race on here on a daily basis, and had to conclude that the organizers probably think as you did prior to your post today. Most comments that you make are usually about how sociologically inept the black race is with it's entitlement mentality. Now that a forum is in place to try to change that, you are now saying it should be all inclusive. Don't get me wrong, initially I felt the same way when I read the article. Then I thought that maybe they are targeting black youths because they are the ones committing a lot of the crimes. I also considered the location of the forum's venue. Tabernacle is located in a predominantly black area, so they are really just targetting their neighborhood kids for now. Such a forum could eventually, however, expand to include all youths. We finally agree on something. Wow!

angiesdad
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angiesdad 09/18/08 - 10:59 am
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i never have been able to

i never have been able to understand why folks say the black race is doing this wrong,and that wrong,yet many black females succeed,and their brothers don't, why is that? it's like the person who says the teachers aren't teaching.yet, they have a classroom of say 38 students,19 fail and 19 pass. if the teachers aren't teaching, wouldn't all 38 fail, instead of half?

christian134
1
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christian134 09/18/08 - 11:04 am
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Really KingJames I mostly

Really KingJames I mostly just come back on the outrageousness of your remarks and others like yourself who have over inflated egos...Many people and organizations want to whine moan and groan about "junk" like the supporters of the NAACP who cannot seem to get away from the black vs. white situation...I will continue to address these racially motivated problems when and wherever I see fit...But like I have continued to say all along anyone who wants to just live, support their families, worship God and not kill the babies-no matter the race- then I say hello welcome aboard the moral train of life....If that doesn't seem to come within the confines of your view of life then so be it...Quite frankly since I don't have a problem with what I have said it just stands to reason when I say in all kindness "tell it to someone who really cares friend"...

miss_mona99
0
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miss_mona99 09/18/08 - 11:15 am
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I would love to have each

I would love to have each person who posts a comment to be in attendance next time. Announcements were distributed to all of the local news outlets and Ms. Toone blessed us with coverage. I think it says a lot about our city when we broadcasts what's wrong more than those trying to foster positive change. The key is relationship building. Get involved in the life of a young person. Say a kind word, give a hug, smile! Do something good for someone else. It takes a village! I believe we need to begin in church, then go out into the community. The next event will be in December outside of the church. Peace and Grace :)

KingJames
11
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KingJames 09/18/08 - 11:34 am
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Christian134, you can't even

Christian134, you can't even understand when someone agrees with you. You come on here all the time and get on a soapbox of condemnation and spew out generalizations about people who are different all the time. My posts pointed that out, but I also took that time to tell you that I initially agreed with you. After thinking about the forum, I could also see why it was targetted at black youths. You complain about outrageous remarks and inlfated egos without really trying to understand what was said. You are so used to defending your often misguided view that you can't comprehend when someone that you know is of a different race actually compliments a statement you made. I don't have an entitlement mentality, and I don't agree with the NAACP on a lot of things. I didn't have a problem with what you said in your first post, but have a problem with your attitude in your second. I would like to see the forum expand to include all troubled youth. I believe that is in agreement with your first post. I doin't use sarcasm like PatT (who by the way had an excellent post), so I wasn't being sarcastic, if that's what you were thinking.

christian134
1
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christian134 09/18/08 - 11:40 am
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That is fine KingJames what

That is fine KingJames what was needed was some input in the problem of our youth(all races not headlined as black youth) and not with my attitude which is of no consequence in the long scheme of things...I apologize for not having the right sort of attitude but I stand by my comments as to the racist thinking of many seem to outweigh the solution to the problems of our youth and their lack of ability to grow up to begin a life on the pathway that is both right and true...All races...

mable8
2
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mable8 09/18/08 - 11:42 am
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It is not only the black

It is not only the black youth, but all youth who are affected. Seems to me that all should be addressed and not simply one particular group; by singling one particular group, it promotes, not heals, segregation. In addressing what effects some "social norms" have had on our young, ALL PARENTS need to become involved, regardless of racial/ethnical heritage. It's time the adults set aside their differences and work towards a common goal; our young people are worth the effort.

cparker
89
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cparker 09/18/08 - 12:39 pm
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This was a wonderful idea. I

This was a wonderful idea. I hope there is plenty participation because Tabernacle is in the center of where much trouble happens. Tabernacle can have a profound effect on that community, especially since they just built a huge community center to help the youths in the area.

christian134
1
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christian134 09/18/08 - 01:14 pm
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cparker much trouble in all

cparker much trouble in all parts of the city and outlying areas that have youths of all races involved...This should be centered in an area that will help all not just black youth as stated....All are our future and all who have said children need to take care of their own and take advantage of projects like the ones being generated but with one stipulation let it be for all races in a central location....

anotherlook
124
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anotherlook 09/18/08 - 01:37 pm
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Let me see if I understand

Let me see if I understand the gist of this. After a violent incident involving a African-American Middle Schooler resulting in a tragic death and the incarceration of the perpet-rators, an organization is formed to address the causes of escalating delinquency and violence in the AA youth population. Okay so far? The Greater Augusta community is invited (by way of a variety of media outlets) to one of the most prestigous religious institutions in the area to participate in a forum to develop innovative approaches that will hopefully do much to ameliorate the problem, demonstrate that these young persons are of value, and to show that the community cares about them and their future. And we have a problem with this WHY??? In this age of hoplessness, learned helplessness, entitlement, and victim ideology, why do we seem to be bent on criticizing a group of folks that have shown enough self-determination to see that they've got some serious issues and need to not only take an honest look at them but also deal with them? When the annoucements went out, there was an opportunity for other institutions to support or be included. Give these folks a chance to "sweep around their own doors."

christian134
1
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christian134 09/18/08 - 02:33 pm
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Why simply put if the white

Why simply put if the white race or any one else uttered the words " focus to study the mind-set of the white youth" the black race warriors would be down on their heads and behinds in less than a heartbeat...That is why? I find nothing wrong with anyone addressing their neighborhood problems just do it without acknowledging race as some kind of badge of honor...

youknowit
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youknowit 09/18/08 - 02:44 pm
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I definetley do not think it

I definetley do not think it is wrong to single out one race...the statistics never lie....a solution has to begin somewhere and this is a great idea.

patriciathomas
43
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patriciathomas 09/18/08 - 04:36 pm
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I think KingJames has it

I think KingJames has it right. This is a community effort and they are addressing a serious problem from their perspective as it relates to their community. This is a responsible and concerned part of the community and their efforts will be more directed as a result of understanding the situation in a specific manner. There is no "one size fits all" fix for this problem, it's area specific. If successful, it can act as a model for other areas. I, for one, am encouraged by the effort. I wish them the best. Nothing succeeds like community effort. Staying focused while contending with the naysayers will be a true test of commitment.

MyOpinion2
5
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MyOpinion2 09/18/08 - 04:50 pm
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ueEfRXZCVA .....please view Americans Freedoms being destroyed

lifelongresidient
1
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lifelongresidient 09/18/08 - 06:31 pm
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the so called rap videos are

the so called rap videos are not the main source but the conduit by which the subtle brainwashing begins. when you see time and time again various men and women engaging in violenbce which is glorified and given the impression that this is the glamerous life this is were you see it manefests itself in violent actions and deeds, runaway teenage pregnancy and the idea that education is for the "whiteman" and it is more cool to be stupid or dumb

peace4784
154
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peace4784 09/18/08 - 06:47 pm
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The problem with the youth,
Unpublished

The problem with the youth, not just the black youth, are the pathetic adults who are the role models. That includes those who occupy the pulpits. The south is inundated with churches and the people are just as worldly, vain and self-centered as can be. Churches are just corporations with a veneer of religiosity. Pastors are just state sanctioned Pharisees. We all as adults have failed the children. It's not just the black youth. To just focus on the black youth only proves the narrow mindedness of that mindset. The problems of the young generation is an indictment against all of the pious religions which reside in this country, particulary here in the south. Churches just suck the money out of their followers with no noticeable return on their investment. Church people drink their share of the liquor, abuse their share of the drugs, are engaged in domestic violence, racism, molestation, sexual immorality, adultery, and the list goes on and on. Self-righteous whites like to point out the imperfections of the people of color to make themselves feel superior. If the Christian churches did 50% of what Jesus taught there would be virtually no social problems. Yes, I said it!

mikelevar
0
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mikelevar 09/18/08 - 07:11 pm
0
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It all boils down to simple

It all boils down to simple economics , and institutional racism that dates back decades. I grew up in Augusta , I'm originally from Jacksonville Florida , and like most American cities Augusta suffers from white flight related problems. My grandmother used to tell me all the blacks used to stay on the east side , and now when blacks move to more affluent areas white people haul tail. This is not just a simple problem , but a very complex one indeed. We as black people need our own educational institutions , financial institutions , and social institutions until America's racist views towards blacks change. Black people in Augusta need to stop moving to Columbia County when they get a little paper and start some social institutions for the ADULTS as well as the YOUTHS. People got it all backwards , if you teach the adults how to think outside the box , then the black youth won't go astray. All these panels are nice , but people need to set up some real educational classes , like showing black people how to invest their money , and applying for college and budget and finance.

mikelevar
0
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mikelevar 09/18/08 - 07:12 pm
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I want people to look up the

I want people to look up the term redlining , and block busting for those of you who think I'm just playing the race card.

owensjef2
0
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owensjef2 09/18/08 - 07:34 pm
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King James, King James heheh

King James, King James heheh

SargentMidTown
8
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SargentMidTown 09/18/08 - 08:01 pm
0
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Bring brack the ganin gang an

Bring brack the ganin gang an d put them in it . They will strighten up. Support H.O.N.G.K.O.N.G www.hongkongaugustaga.org

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