“Wow” is the word I have to use for this event because that is exactly what it was … we had more than 35 African-American men in attendance at the Men’s Empowerment Breakfast on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2020.
It was kind of funny because we had a lot of women who showed up for the breakfast, not aware that it was for men only. However, I allowed them to stay -- if they would volunteer to help serve the men. The event was hosted by Bishop William Spann, pastor of Mount Olive Baptist Church on DeSoto Caverns Parkway in Childersburg.
The men at the breakfast shared their ideas, suggestions and formed a bond together and formulated the foundation called “The Movement." This Movement will consist of several organizations in the community -- Talladega Umbrella of Hope (President Reggie Holt), Men of Valor (President Jerry Taylor), S.O.G (President Frostie Cole) -- along with Yousef Benjamin, Demetruis Whitson, Berto Jones, Nika Swain, DeCorey Hall, Steve Dickerson, Dino Whitson, Mr. Phillips, Marcus Frazier, Chad Turner and Bishop William Spann.
These men have decided they would begin to work in the community together, having each other’s back, when necessary, and take some responsibility on some issues that have been overlooked, such as reaching the young African-American boys in the community.
Nika Swain admitted he hasn't done a lot in the community but said he would do better. Yousef Benjamin explained how critical the time is now, and Demetruis Whitson spoke on how is it that going to prison is popular to our young black males? How is it that going to prison represents being "Hard" or "The Man" among their peers in the community? How is it that some of our young black men are applauded for going to prison? Yousef Benjamin also talked about "superprisons.”
This event was truly an experience that I will never forget. I was humbled by it. I feel like this type of event was overdue. It gave the men a platform, and I look forward to nothing short of greatness from "The Movement.”
I am happy that I could be a part of it … and thank you Anthony Cook and The Daily Home for publishing our events. We appreciate it.
Sabrina Swain is founder of Talladega Community Involvement, also known as S&S, and the organizer of the Black Men’s Empowerment Breakfast at the Spring Street Recreation Center last weekend.