***Note: Symposium has been tentatively re-scheduled for the first week in December***Approximately 75 community members visited Johnson C. Smith University’s New Science Center Atrium, September 19th to celebrate ten of Charlotte’s change makers and the launch of the university’s latest book, Ten Men: Exploring the Passion and Progress of Black Men on Charlotte’s Historic West Side.
The brief program included remarks by Dr. Diane Bowles, Executive Director for JCSU’s Smith Institute for Applied Research, and Dr. Ronald L. Carter, Johnson C. Smith University’s 14th President.
Dr. Diane Bowles articulated the connection between the university’s research, and its two books: Ten Men, and Let There be Light. Bowles described the continuing conversation that will happen as a result of Ten Men, including a symposium scheduled for
October 11th ***Note: Symposium has been tentatively re-scheduled for the first week in December*** during which the men will discuss their experiences and address building positive momentum and opportunity in Charlotte during a panel discussion.
During his remarks, JCSU’s President Dr. Ronald L. Carter described his vision to provide records of the present so that future generations can understand the factors shaping their lives from a strengths-based perspective of Black men, which is different than the traditional narrative. In his preface, Dr. Carter challenges the reader to see the Black male as an agent for change in his own community, and questions whether the “deficit/problem-based model lead[s] to much bigger problems.” During his remarks, Carter called each gentleman to the podium to be recognized. Nine of the ten men were in attendance, as was Dr. Jonathan Livingston who wrote the book’s foreword. All of the gentlemen signed books during the event and were congratulated by attendees.
Ten Men, focuses squarely on Charlotte’s West Side, and is a literary antidote to the sobering statistics plaguing Charlotte’s Black men. Edited by award-winning journalist and author Ron Stodghill, the work blends glimpses of the community’s storied past with discussions of present-day dramatic shifts: gentrifying neighborhoods, an imminent Gold Line streetcar, and new business and commercial construction.
The second in a volume inviting readers into a new era of civic engagement, Ten Men invites readers into the minds and hearts of some of the city’s most exceptional leaders as they leverage the power of community groups, book clubs, churches, athletic teams, and even barbershops to build a Charlotte where all of its citizens have a voice and a prosperous future.