"The saying, 'It takes a village to raise a child' is true," says Judge Milton F. Fitch, who is the Grand Master of the North Carolina Prince Hall Masons. "If you travel down the street and you see a child doing something that's not right, I think it's your obligation to say something to that child."
Yesterday at the Prince Hall Masonic Temple in Winston-Salem, N.C., Bro. Milton spoke to about 250 people during the first Masonic African-American Male Summit for Black History Month. Young people accounted for about 100 people who attended the summit, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
The event was sponsored by the Winston-Salem Masonic Corp. and the Winston-Salem Foundation. The summit addressed issues facing black young men, including high rates of unemployment, incarceration and school dropout.
Delores Wylie, the former president of the Winston-Salem Urban League, challenged black men to better prepare boys for adulthood, and she challenged women to teach boys about respect.
The importance of good role models in the community was stressed by many speakers. Young people were encouraged to draw lessons from black history and to find men in the audience who would be willing to be mentors.
"I think the one thing we will definitely do is continue this dialogue," Bro. Richard Williams, a member of the Winston-Salem Masonic Corp. said. "I think this will open a door for us to have similar forums and discussions where instead of rehashing the problem at subsequent forums we need to roll up our sleeves and start developing solutions."
Image: M.W. Bro. Milton F. Fitch, Grand Master of Prince Hall Masons in North Carolina for 2007
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