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A Conversation with Randal Pinkett: Raising Black Boys

A Conversation with Randal Pinkett: Raising Black Boys
By Talia Whyte

Dr. Randal Pinkett was a speaker at the National Urban League conference in Boston July 27 - 30.  The former “Apprentice” star has dedicated his life to improving the lives of other black males by writing books and doing motivational speaking nationwide.  I found him to be a very impressive person. He is the complete package - tall, dark, handsome, smart, articulate, educated and self-employed. I am pretty sure if he wasn’t happily married, he would have women (including yours truly) falling all over themselves for him!

Recently, there has been much discussion about the degrading representation of African-Americans on reality television. I don’t have a lot of time to watch television, but the amount I do get to see is pretty bad. Apparently anyone who can scream the loudest and willing to get into a physical altercation on television can instantly become a reality star.  The sad thing about this is that Pinkett probably couldn’t get on a reality show today simply because he is just too normal.  

I didn’t ask him about the new crop of black reality stars because he said he really wanted to talk about his book and company. However, during the panel discussion on “saving our men,” he said “we have to do better at coming out against bad TV programming and other negative influences in pop culture.”

He recommended that parents shut off the television and pay more attention to being a positive influence in the lives of black boys, especially in their career choices.

“I was lucky to have good guidance,” Pinkett said. “We should guide our kids into entrepreneurship.  I want to see more black Bill Gates come out of our community.”

Reality star Dr. Ian Smith was also on this panel.

“There is no one answer to saving our sons,” Smith said.  “But we need to embrace and reach out to our sons in every way we can to see better results.”

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Arts & Culture | Education

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Randal Pinkett, boys