Lamont Brown engages the young men at the Camp
Lamont Brown engages the young men at the Camp


As we watch the news and observe our young men we notice many things. We note that they have struggled often to get where they are whether its a position on  some NBA,  NFL or MLB and  of course those entertainers in the music industry all who are making decent money. We are often greeted with late  evening or morning news reporting that ‘Big NBA Playa, was arrested for toting a gun’; ‘NFL charged with cruelty to dogs or domestic violence’; ‘MLB  left fielder violated drug probation’; or ‘Hip Hop Mogul involved in scuffle at the Metropolitan involving a gun’. We see, hear read this sort of news all day everyday.  Too many times we have shaken our heads or thrown up our hands in disgust thinking what’s wrong with these young people?  We ask and we ponder, . . .they have million dollar contracts why do they do these things?

To answer we can refer to the old adage that ‘you can take the boy of of the country but not the country out of the boy.” And so it is with our young men who come from the ‘hood’ and have confronted and battled all that poverty puts before them. They have much to learn about social skills and social graces in worlds outside of their own and the absence of shows. It’s the expectation that they should know but don’t that causes organizations like the NBA to establish a dress code requiring it’s players to  dress accordingly because the young men were coming inappropriately dressed to practice, meeting, etc. These sort of things they should know but they don’t. Many come from families where no one worked, or held no professional job and where there was no male role model in the home or  in their lives.

They are missing an understanding of decorum, etiquette and  manners, knowing what’s appropriate when and what’s not from dress, to conversation as well as table manners. These necessary essentials will prove to be an asset to the young men’s future progress and success.

So  20 to 30 black males ages 12-18 will learn table etiquette as part of the agenda of Manhood Development Camp.  The workshop will be facilitated by Nathan Wright President of Excel Etiquette.  Nathan Wright is perfect for leading the workshop. His company is not only a  full-service Etiquette and Cultural Enhancement Company but it offers a variety of etiquette and social/cultural programs and workshops for adults as well as.

This fabulous opportunity  is offered free to young men  who can benefit from such a workshop Saturday, May 16 – 9 to Noon held at  Leo High School – 7901 S. Sangamon – Chicago, Auditorium. This is an invaluable asset that oftentimes can determine whether or not you get the job. Knowing your way around the table is most important. As a managerial and executive employee you may be called upon to attend, luncheons, dinners, galas, workshops etc., that require you to demonstrate your etiquette skills. 

Mack McGhee makes a point that can make a difference in lives of the camp youth  to whom  he is  speaking.
Mack McGhee makes a point that can make a difference in lives of the camp youth to whom he is speaking.

The young participants will also be gifted with a talk by  Sylvester Baugh about integrity as part of the agenda for the Camp.

This workshop is part of the Manhood Development Camp, founded by five African-American males, to help guide young African-American males.

Five guys: (from left): Keith Martin, Sr., Stanley Muhammad, Mack McGhee, William C. Gray, Jr., Lamont Brown
Five guys:
(from left): Keith Martin, Sr., Stanley Muhammad, Mack McGhee, William C. Gray, Jr., Lamont Brown




The five males-Mack McGhee – Director, William C. Gray, Jr. – Assistant Director, Lamont Brown – Assistant Director, Stanley Muhammad – Brotherhood Director and Keith Martin, Sr., – Mentor Director joined forces because they were tired of watching from the sidelines. Although they were always involved with youth, through this camp, they intensified their commitment to join the front lines to help save black boys. The rallying cry is GET OFF THE SIDELINES!

This free camp is devoted to addressing the needs of black youth. It was launched in April and has been tremendously successful as the youth are engaged and inspired by the lessons, the raw honesty and compassion of the leaders, their counsel and by the love that flows from the guys to the youth. Each week, the dialogue gets real as youth open up about their fears, frustrations and the futility they face. This is the seventh of an eight-week series.


•Lamont Brown – Assistant Director – As a youth, Lamont was in and out of prison, where he resolved to turn his life around. Today he is a successful businessman and motivational speaker.

 On April 7, Lamont was elected an Alderman in Harvey, Illinois – certainly testimony to his resolve to make a difference.

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