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My activity on Tuesdays is fairly routine. I teach one course on Tuesday, do some administrative office work and then attend a class at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) that evening.  And what I see while driving to my early evening UMSL class is fairly routine too.  I often see young African American men sauntering down the streets with low wearing pants, caps cocked to the side or worn backwards.  Here’s my struggle – it’s not the attire but what the  “attire” communicates.  Their attire communicates a certain mood; their attire communicates a resignation (this is the way it is so why care?); their attire communicates apathy; their attire communicates seemingly a hopelessness; their attire communicates cynicism and their attire communicates a lack of urgency.  I often agonize over “what can I do”?  Don’t they know that opportunities exist for them?  Will this cycle of disengaged young African-American men ever be broken?   Barack Obama is our first African American President; yet, I see very little change – overt and covert forms of racism still exists and apathy among young African American males still exists.   However, I am not all knowing nor am I all seeing.  So, I earnestly hope there are incremental changes taking place someone in St. Louis city and across the many urban contexts across the United States.

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