Black community leaders are calling on more men to be mentors after back-to-back killings

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 11:46 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Community leaders are calling on some people to help find solutions to stop the shootings and killings in Charlotte.

The focus starts with the youth, specifically in Black neighborhoods because a lot of the times, it’s boys and young men who are either dying or doing the killings in the community.

Those in Tuesday’s group meeting in Northwest Charlotte say it boils down to the “Each one, teach one” mentality.

“We have everything in this room to accomplish what we want to accomplish,” said Charlotte radio host No Limit Larry.

Usually, women outnumber men in these meetings, but that changed Tuesday night when No Limit Larry – who leads these weekly conversations – called last week on the women in the group to bring the men in their lives this week. He said it was about finding good mentors for young people in areas where the streets can be mean.

“For me personally, I think it’s going to take door-to-door, block by block, family by family to make something like this work,” said another man in the group.

The women delivered, and the men showed up. Barbers, bankers, teachers, entrepreneurs and more. Michael Norman was one of them. He’s the founder of a training center that teaches men and women who have had hard lives, to become electricians. Norman said he built his program from the ground up because he wanted to see the people in his community do better, and be better.

“Me as an African-American male, to spend my money, my resources, my energy in my own community first,” said Norman.

He wasn’t the only one. Others here said they’re ready to stop talking and start bringing action for solutions.

“Let’s learn how to speak about life. Let’s speak what we want to see, and when we start speaking what we want to see, that’s when we start putting our generation in a place to grow,” said another man in Tuesday’s meeting.

This group is ready. They say they can’t wait for Charlotte city council members to make a move and help them because people continue to be killed. In the last 24-hours, two more people have lost their lives. Facts like that are pushing these guys to apply for grant money and do fundraisers so, they say, they can invest in more positive programs for young people.

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