Group's Founder Has a Mission to Mentor Young, Black Men
Posted February 26, 2008 4:57 p.m. EST
Updated February 26, 2008 6:28 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Antoine Medley says he's following a call to save young people. Young, black men especially.
The people who are the target of his message might not like everything he has to say, but he's saying it anyway.
From 9 to 5, Medley is a computer guy. He's the one you call when something goes wrong.
He's also a family guy who has made the tough choice to give up family time to create something he believes in – Future Black Men of America Inc.
“Our young boys are really going through some things now by not having direction,” Medley says. That is what led him to decide he must be a leader, must try to shape and change those young men.
“They're faced with peer pressure. They're faced with sex, girls, money, drugs, guns – you name it, they're facing it,” Medley explains.
Four years ago, he started FBMA with his own money. Once a week, about a dozen young men come together to talk about everything from violence to prison to what not to do in certain situations.
“Do I want them to be in school and something's about to go down and they have Mr. Antoine in their head? That's a good thing,” Medley says.
It’s mentoring that is his passion, however, day or night.
“I said, ‘If you ever get yourself in a situation where you've caught a ride to Cary to a party, it’s 2 in the morning (and) you can't get home, call me. Don't call a taxi and when the taxi gets to your house, you jump out and run. Call me. I'll come and get you. I may give you a lecture on the way home, but I'll come and get you.’”
If you ask Medley if he's living the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he hesitates.
“Dr. Kings don't come along every day,” Medley observes. But his beliefs are what drives him, and he believes everyone can do more.
“I do feel that we all can do something. We can do something.” Medley is very clear about that.
Medley says he's working on getting more grants to support the group. For now, there are Future Black Men of America chapters pending in Washington, D.C, and Atlanta.