Calling all brothers to the floor:

On the campus of Grambling State University there is an issue that affects not only the student body, but also affects the nation. It is an issue more pressing and alarming to its inhabitants than global warming.
That issue is the plight of African American males. In a proactive attempt to educate and inform the individuals who might otherwise fall victim to the same symptoms that plague Generation Y, the Student Government Association in conjunction with the Political Science Department enlisted the services of New York Times best-selling author Hill Harper.

Harper is the author of the best-selling book Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest Your Destiny and was part of a panel discussion that centered on the plight of African American males. He went into detail about some of the obstacles young males face and offered solutions.

The event was well attended, but the audience was made up of mostly women. Some of the women showed up to hear what Harper had to say, and others came just to be in the presence of a celebrity.

There is no problem with either reason, but there is an issue with the fact that more brothers did not show up. Where were you, guys? Did you at least hear about the conversation? He was speaking to you.

He was trying to help you, but you would rather party, play, sleep or die. Where is the progress?

You were the topic of the hour. He discussed the plight of African American males, and you were all absent. Once again, women were left in a difficult position to answer on your behalf.

I bet that during Homecoming you sat in the front row and had a fair share of boos at the Comedy Show. But when your opinion was crucial, you decided to be part of the problem and not the solution. There must be a paradigm shift.

On this campus, the social atmosphere eclipses the intellectual environment. There is nothing wrong with enjoying yourselves, but you must also stimulate and develop your mind.

An event this vital and relevant, being held at a historically Black institution, should have filled the Assembly Center, but, instead, it was held in the Nursing Building Auditorium with a capacity just under 400 people.

Many left the event inspired to make a change in the way African American males are perceived. But was it enough?

Christian Jackson is a senior electronic engineering technology major from Los Angeles.