On the basis of foregoing declaration, and firmly believing in our high destiny, we, as American Negroes, are resolved to strive in every honorable way for the realization of the best and highest aims, for the development of strong manhood and pure womanhood, and for the rearing of a race ideal in America and Africa, to the glory of God and uplifting the Negro people. –W.E.B. DuBois, Conservation of Races, 1897
The above painting appearing on the main page of this blog is one of Jacob Lawrence of the Harlem Renaissance era. Lawrence was insprired through his rememberance of his high school educational experiences, recalling that black culture was “never studied seriously like regular subjects,” so he taught himself about it by going to libraries and museums. This is a depiction of the 135th street library (now the Schomburg Center for Research in black culture), where the country’s first collection of African American literature and history was first displayed in 1925.
Upon analyzing the Renaissance themes in this painting, you should first note the scene of intense study. This is an illustration of not only Lawrence, but of the Negro people’s desire to educate themselves of their own culture and history that has been deliberately extracted from our cultural psyche by means of agressive assimilation and subsequently completely from our schoolyard textbooks. This painting also is depicting Lawrence’s desire to “reconstruct” the Negro, setting them apart from age-old stereotypes of academic apathy, cultural disconnection and denigration, laziness and ignorance. Second is the desire to reconstruct the “negro” because they are educating themselves, setting them apart from the other non educated blacks. Lastly, this is a depiction of the fight against oppression because most African Americans were denied the same educational opportunities and resources freely granted to white Americans, and historically, Blacks sought educational enlightenment as one of the best and most progressive means to combat malignant racism in this country. In essence, this is what this program in all about.
Positive Young B.r.o.t.h.a.s. Male Outreach Program(PYB)
MOTTO: Building Roads of Opportunity TogeTHer Avoiding the Stereotype
(PYB) is a school-based manhood development and culuturally-relevant educational program that is designed to promote distinction, leadership skills, responsibility, brotherhood, and community involvement among young male participants in a culturally-relevant model. PYB is designed to develop positive, productive, and progressive-thinking leaders of the school and in the community.
We Will: EMPOWER adolescent males with the necessary skills to think and present themselves as positive, productive and progressive members in school and in the community; EQUIP male teens with the life skills to allow them to STRIVE towards DISTINCTION and EXCELLENCE in pursuance of purposeful endeavors; to FOSTER independent thinking, self-sufficiency and efficacy; PROMOTE BROTHERHOOD amongst peers, and an enduring commitment to COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITY; and, to STIMULATE thought and enforce behaviors BEYOND THE EXPECTED.
To stimulate thoughts and actions beyond the expected.
Help create viable life plans and make good decisions;
Reveal various college and career options;
Increase academic efficacy by monitoring academic progress and providing assistance as needed;
Exposure to positive adult male role models;
Celebrating the rich culture, history, and legacy of African Americans throughout history;
Cultivate life skills required to be exemplary leaders of positive character who understands his responsibility as a citizen and member of the community;
Recognize and celebrate individual and group achievements of all participants.