Philadelphia is the City of Innovators. Philly is now one of two cities with an innovative campaign to recognize “black men and boys leading in solutions, participating in decision-making and fully engaged in all issues and opportunities affecting their communities,” Black Male Engagement.
While the mainstream media sensationalizes “flash mobs,” BME (pronounced “Be me”) will tell untold Philadelphia stories. The stories of black males who likely carry a flash drive.
Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Program Director for Knight Foundation Philadelphia, said the City of Brotherly Love “has a chance to lead.” The campaign will “start with what is right rather than problems and challenges.”
That was music to the ears of Harvey L. Crudup, chairman of the Philadelphia Chapter of Concerned Black Men, a mentoring organization whose mission is “to develop and present youth in our community, particularly African American male youth, with programs and activities that motivate, educate and build self-esteem.”
Harvey told me:
I like the name – BME. That says it all. Their concept is the first time I’ve heard that in 36 years… Concerned Black Men focuses on the good kids… We highlight and recognize the good kids.
BME is not looking for Superman. Instead, they’re looking for “Average Joes” age 14 and older:
We’re not looking for perfection. We just want to share stories about the good things that black males do for their community, how you serve your neighborhood, your city and how you get others to join you. You don’t always realize that you are an example for the future leaders of our communities, so we’re asking the people around you to come forth and recognize you too.
BME will launch on August 1. In the meantime, I want to give a shout-out to the do-it-or-die brothers who dare to make a difference in their community.