Black men in Boston and beyond face structural harms that affect every aspect of daily life from their safety to their health. A look at the state of Black men today reveals a group that is paving the way for one another through leadership and mutual support.

According to the most recent information from The Office of Black Male Advancement for the City of Boston, 25% of Black/African American males are children under 18, Black/African American males are more likely to work in jobs that must be done in-person, i.e. service jobs, and Black/African American males over age 35 have no investment income.

This week on Basic Black, host Rahsaan Hall was joined by a panel of community members and leaders to discuss how to uplift and inspire Black men and boys in the community and what they are doing to help.

The panelists this week included: Dr. Kevin Simon, chief behavioral health officer at the Boston Public Health Commission, Jonathan Allen, co-founder and director of development of Leadership Brainery, Adrian Major, founder of Dreamcatcher Initiative, Gabriel Petit, a Dreamcatcher Initiative mentee and participant, and James Mackey, vice chair of the Black Men and Boys Commission for the City of Boston.

To begin the discussion, Rahsaan Hall shifted from the dominant narrative about what issues Black men face, and posed a question to the group: what is joyful about being a Black man?

“There’s a lot of instances where the rules of society seem as though they’re against the Black male, so if you can find joy and live your truth, that is very powerful,” said Simon.

Throughout the conversation, panelists also touched on the importance of mentors for young Black men.

“I believe it’s important to have mentors to help with mental health because if you’re young, most likely you’re misunderstood, that’s a very common word to describe young people, so we’re always gonna need somebody to talk to,” said Petit.

Watch the latest episode of Basic Black tonight at 7:30 p.m. on GBH 2 or live at the stream below. You can also watch on the GBH News YouTube channel. Subscribe to get notifications for future premiere episodes.

Stay in the loop and sign up for the Basic Black Newsletter:

Be sure to follow us on social media:

Follow us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:

Follow us on Instagram:

GBH News is a premier source for in-depth local news and original story telling based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Subscribe to the GBH YouTube channel:

Help us keep bringing you the local news that matters to YOU, right here on YouTube. Donate today: