The Males Place Journey’s To Cuba in June 2019
By MAKHERU BRADLEY
CHARLOTTE, NC - Spanning the globe to expand the horizons and consciousness of young Black men in Charlotte, The Males Place (TMP) is preparing for its third international trip in June 2019. TMP, led by the visionary Reggie Singleton, previously carried groups of young men (called warriors) and advisors (called mshauri) to Ghana, West Afrika, in 2010 and 2018. They will now travel to the historic island of Cuba, where an estimated 1.3 million Afrikans were once enslaved.
TMP was established in 1993. In 1995, Bro. Singleton, in the spirit of our Esteemed Ancestor Dr. Frantz Fanon, refocused the mission of TMP based on the void being created in the Afrikan American community by the rising tide of single-parent families, particularly absentee fathers. TMP became a “guided journey into manhood,” and over 3000 youth have benefited from this critically necessary program in Charlotte since 1995.
“The mission of the Males Place, Inc., is to provide comprehensive and prevention-based behavior health educational programming, mentoring and life skills training necessary for manhood development for African American boys ages 12-18; while creating a safe environment for young men to grow experientially, in community settings in the United States and abroad.
We offer a holistic curriculum of programs incorporating educational, spiritual, agricultural, social, civic, recreational and cultural enrichment for our youth. We also recognize the importance of integrating artistic expression as a means of broadening the learning aptitudes of young men.”
In addition to international travels, TMP has taken its members on tours of the Lorraine Motel Museum in Memphis, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Selma Voting Rights Museum, the Montgomery Civil Rights Memorial, the historic Tuskegee University, the Frederick Douglass Home, Baltimore’s National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, and the DelMarVa Harriet Tubman Monument, among other places of historical significance.
Beyond traveling, TMP participates in many local forums addressing community issues; they help other organizations plant gardens; they visit senior citizen facilities, and they host Kwanzaa programs, among other events.
The Three Pillars of TMP
Mentorship: Teaching our youth of today life skills through large group discussion and small group interactions; agriculture duty and responsibility, and educational and cultural enrichment journeys both domestic and internationally.
Agriculture: We believe in preparing our youth to live holistically, including a wide variety of skills nurturing in horticulture. Our youth learn soil preparation and maintenance techniques, harvesting and distribution skills to prepare them for the real-world.
Social Justice: Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. Our youth experience their culture and gain valuable life skills through panel discussions and workshops. We believe in direct action and participation in open community hearings and conducting community forums that invigorate our local community.
Trip to Cuba
TMP will visit to Cuba from June 16-23. The seven day sojourn will focus on literacy, education, service and sustainability. Upon returning, TMP will apply the innovations they learned to help improve the delivery of critically needed foods and vegetables to our community. They will also be working on increasing the reading proficiency of young Black males.
If you would like to support TMP with this project please visit their website at www.themalesplace.org or call 704-713-3824.
For more from the author, follow his blog Makheru Speaks.