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A summit to meet the challenges facing Black men in America?

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Attendees flash their college signs at the 3rd Annual Collegiate 100 Conference held last October in Atlanta, Georgia, which drew hundreds of Black collegians from across America for four days of workshops on Overcoming Limitations, Surpassing Goals and Achieving Greatness. The gathering was sponsored by 100 Black Men of America, an Atlanta-based organization devoted to mentoring and inspiring young Black men to succeed. Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. is the organization's board chairman. (photo credit:100 Black Men of America, used with permission)

The elections this month produced historic results as regards representation of African Americans in the electoral hierarchy of Baltimore City and the state of MD. The governor, attorney general, state superintendent of schools and state treasurer are all accomplished Black men. Here in Baltimore City, Black male leaders include the Mayor, the City Council President, the comptroller, the city state’s attorney and the police commissioner.

This is not to say that Black women have not also risen to positions in which they have shaped the trajectory of Baltimore and the state. The Speaker of the House in Annapolis, Del. Adrienne Jones and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks’ endorsements of Wes Moore for Governor were considered a considerable boost to his nascent political career. Not too long ago, the Mayor of Baltimore, the State’s Attorney, the City Council President, even the head of the Enoch Pratt Library were prominent African American women.

A few weeks ago, the Rev. Kevin Slayton, an activist and preacher who has been involved in politics and policy for years, wrote an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun in which he stated that the representation of African Americans in the halls of power could all be, quote, “the revelation of hopes our ancestors dreamed about.” But for many Black men in America, those dreams are deferred by endemic racism, poverty, and a host of other formidable challenges.

Dr. Slayton has called for a convening of elected Black officials to explore what can be done to help Black men succeed. What would such a convening look like? What could it accomplish? That’s what we want to talk about today, here on Midday. 

Rev. Kevin Slayton is the senior pastor at Northwood-Appold United Methodist Church, and an adjunct professor at Lancaster Theological Seminary. He joins Tom here in Studio A…

Also joining us is Dr. Lester Spence, a Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University, who specializes in the study of black, racial, and urban politics. Dr. Spence joins us on Zoom.

And later in the program, we welcome Rep. Kweisi Mfume to the conversation. Congressman Mfume earlier this month won re-election to serve in Congress representing Maryland's 7th District. He speaks with us on Zoom.

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(R-L) Rev. Dr. Kevin Slayton, Sr., a Methodist pastor; Congressman Kweisi Mfume (D., Md 7th Dist); Dr. Lester Spence, a political scientist at Johns Hopkins University. (courtesy photos)

You're welcome to join us as well. Call 410.662.8780 Email [email protected]. Or Tweet us: @MiddayWYPR

Audio will be posted here later this afternoon.

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Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.
Teria is a Supervising Producer on Midday.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.