Black boys and men, ages six to 21, learned discipline, dedication, and determination during the inaugural session of the New Blk-Wall Street’s Black Male Mentoring Program in Carson November 7.
New Blk-Wall Street is a collective of Black men from the South Bay suburb of Los Angeles, who began meeting with aims to form an investment group. Their goal is is to launch chapters in every major city in America, and the male mentoring program a centerpiece of each chapter.
“The male mentoring program has been in my mind for a few years now. As a father of two boys, one in college and my two year old Prince, I realize the importance of examples for young men to pattern themselves after,” said Alim Hagan, founder of New Blk-Wall Street.
“New-Blk-Wall Street is a Tribute to the first Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma, however we spell ours with Blk, which stands for business, leadership and knowledge,” he said.
Zahalea Anderson of the Urban School of Self-Defense began the near two-hour by teaching self-defense techniques to the young mentees.
Historian and Attorney Legrand Clegg, II. spoke on the history of Black men in America. As he distributed handouts on Ancient Egypt and Egyptian Numerals, he told the youth, “It is important for you to know that at one point, Black men ruled the world.”
In another interactive moment, he asked the attentive group how does media or society usually depict them. “As gang-affiliated and not always intelligent,” one young man replied. “As crooks and thieves,” a younger child followed up.
Atty. Clegg proceeded to discuss a myriad of inventions Black men and women contributed to the world. “Never let anybody tell you you can’t succeed,” he said.
Nation of Islam Student Minister Robert Muhammad of Mosque No. 27 in Compton said he was pleased to witness the program’s launch.
“It’s important that you continue to bring them here,” he encouraged parents. Black men and boys are in a society that has no love or respect for them and that criminalizes even the youngest Black boy that sat among them, he noted.
“With this program, Brother Alim wishes to bring in people, scholars, teachers, lawyers, others, so that you can see you in a different light, and then participate in a program that will mentor, guide your children … from a boy to an adulthood, but a productive adult,” Muhammad continued.
Hagan concluded the program by giving a brief presentation on literacy and nutrition. He then called up several boys and asked people to receive them as his “son” for the day. The idea, he said, was for Black men to visualize and understand that every Black boy they see is their responsibility.
“In order for us to change the collective consciousness of our community and our people, we must make the commitment that we see each other as family, we see each other as brothers, and we see each other as sisters,” Hagan said.
Hagan strongly believes Blacks need to cultivate leadership qualities in young men, so he’s made financial literacy the driving force of New Blk-Wall Street.
“We have partnered with several financial experts that will teach our youth. New Blk-Wall Street has men and women from all walks of life. What we have in common is the mind set to change our community by controlling the resources within our community,” Hagan said.