“Mo’ Letters to Young Black Men”: Connections (Letter 1)

Pray! Think! Do!

Sir, I am assuming that you are attracted to women, and not to men.

You want to live your life in such a way that God can take you home at any time.

‘Longevity has its place,’ but doing the job that God designed you to do is the ultimate joy.

Letter One

Dear Y.B.M.:

It has been a while since I have written to you. I trust that you are growing spiritually, mentally, and otherwise in your life as a young black man.

Again, I want to thank you for the many kind letters and e-mails that I received from you in response to the book, Letters to Young Black Men: Advice and Encouragement for a Difficult Journey. It was good to hear from you.

As for me, my family and I are doing well. We have had a few challenges since I last wrote to you, but we are doing fine, thank the Lord.

As a courtesy to those who are reading these lines without the benefit of having read Letters to Young Black Men, I will hit some of the highlights of that book to bring you up to speed. The book, Letters to Young Black Men, is divided into three major sections:


I started the “On Your Life—Spiritual” section, with the following statement: “Recently, I was speaking at a church in Orlando, Florida, and I saw a sign on the front of the pulpit, that read:

The Main Thing Is To Keep
The Main Thing The Main Thing.”

From there I dealt with the following important subjects:

• The Main Thing
• Get to Know Your Creator
• How to Obtain the Blessings of God
• Your Road Map to Real and Lasting Success
• Tap Into Unlimited Power
• The Encouragement Place
• Pulling Others Out of the Fire

I started the “On Your Life—Educational” section with this statement from the letter titled, “The Awesome Value of Reading”: “First of all, may I kindly encourage you to spend as much time as you possibly can reading.”

I dealt with the following subjects in that section:

• The Importance of Increasing Knowledge
• The Obstacles to Getting a Good Education
• Graduating From College and Still Ignorant and Unlearned
• The Marks of a Truly Educated Man
• With All Thy Getting, Get Wisdom and Understanding
• Please Learn “Yourself” a Little Etiquette

In the third and final section of the book, “On Your Life—As a Young Black Man,” I began with this statement: “Down through the years, I have noticed that one of the marks of a ‘Morehouse man’ is confidence. And that is what I want to write to you about today.”

From that section I went on to deal with the following subjects, with the one titled “Women Folk!” being the most popular and the most controversial:

• You Are Not Inferior!
• Take the Road Less Traveled
• Take Full Responsibility
• Talk and Listen to Every Older Man Past Fifty That You Possibly Can
• Learn About Where You Come From
• The Value of Working Hard and Smart
• Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Twelve
• How to be Really Cool
• Women Folk!
• Think For Yourself!

These highlights do not do the book justice because every chapter in the book is of vital importance to your life as a young black man. When you find some time, go down to your local Barnes & Noble or go online to Amazon.com and order a copy of Letters to Young Black Men: Advice and Encouragement for a Difficult Journey.

Until then, I hope that this will help you get up to speed.

Pray! Think! Do!


P.T. (Power Thoughts):

Adam Powell Jr. said, “Our faith must be sustained by our passion for dignity and our trust in God.”

Frederick Douglass said, “Lift up yourselves…take yourselves out of the mire and hitch your hopes to the stars.”

W.E.B. Dubois said, “There is in this world no such force as the force of a man determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained.”


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