At 25 years old, Brandon Frame has a strong passion to help young boys of color succeed, hence his role as director of business partnerships and Program Development at Hartford, Conn.’s High School Inc., which led him to create educational programs to empower young men. The Morehouse College graduate developed TheBlackManCan.org toaid the positive development of young African American males. Frame is hosting a a dynamic event for young men in Atlanta on Nov. 9.
Why did you start this program?
M.K. Asante Jr. said, “Once you make an observation, you have an obligation.” I started this program because I read all the research from the scholars and I heard the voices of mothers, fathers and educators about what young black men need. Those were the observations I made then and I continue to have an obligation to do something about them. TheBlackManCan Institute was born to uplift, educate, motivate, empower, and inspire young black men. Young men attending TheBlackManCan Institute can be assured that their cultural needs will be addressed and they will be free to express themselves while fostering brotherhood.
How do you select the young men to participate?
We do not select young men to attend. I make it a point to not focus on a certain population. All black boys — no matter their environment, background and socioeconomic status — need the knowledge and experience that is being provided at TheBlackManCan Institute. They are required to register beforehand, but we also take young men who show up on the day of the Institute if we have space for them.
What is your definition of success?
A lot of people who do similar work to mine continue to count success by the number of boys in attendance. That’s a very limited way of looking at success. Success, in my eyes, happens when one young man leaves an Institute and models the tenets of TBMCI. Success happens when one young man has the epiphany that he’s not destined to be anything less than great. Success happens when a young man gets what could be his first tie ever and then learns how to tie a tie. Success happens when veils are lifted from the eyes of just one young man who decides he’s going to try to do better. That’s the confidence that comes with knowing that you’re capable of doing awesome things. Their success is my success.
What are the three main tenets of the program that you impart to the young men?
We cover quite a few topics from Financial Literacy to Being Well Dressed, but the three principals we impart on young men are:
1) Fostering Brotherhood
2) Developing Positive Self-Identity
3) Seizing Knowledge
Click here to register for this dynamic event.