This year, the group 100 Black Men of Tulsa wants to focus it’s mentoring of young people more on education rather than athletics. The group sends mentors into seven Tulsa schools, meeting with about a dozen students at each building.
The president of 100 Black Men of Tulsa said, too often, young minority men focus on making it as athletes when, instead, more need to plan for success through education.
In the lobby of the Greenwood Cultural Center, 43 young men listened as Hannibal Johnson explained the 1921 Race Massacre. They were there with their mentors to learn the history of Tulsa, to ask questions about what sparked the riot, and what’s happened since then.
Cultural education is a new focus for the leaders of 100 Black Men of Tulsa as they try to transform lives with positive role models.” What we thought about is breaking this cycle of gang involvement and mischievousness and being so hyper. We try to get them to settle down and understand the significance of what the classroom means to them,” Eddie Evans said.
The mentors took the students on a walking tour down Greenwood to get a better understanding of what they’ve been hearing. The group hopes to do more field trips like this to museums and cultural sites.
“Mostly we just want them to believe in themselves because, once they do that, they can do anything,” Tony Brinkley said. The group also hopes to expand the program to reach more young men in as many Tulsa schools as possible.