Frank Fiore – Novelist & Screenwriter

October 19, 2014

Rites of Passage

Filed under: MURRAN — Frank Fiore @ 10:37 AM

In a prior post – MURRAN – A Positive Role for Teen Boys, I wrote about the need for young boys for some positive warrior role models and hoped MURRAN would fit that bill.

Many cultures have a Rite of Passage for their young males. The Jewish religion has the Bar Mitzvah. The Catholic religion has Confirmation. The Walkabout of the Aborigines. There dozens of others.

The social worker in MURRAN, Sarah Cummings, is the Director of the M.A.A.S.A.I. center in Brooklyn. She speaks about the need for young boys to have a Rite of Passage to manhood in my soon to be released book.

“Every culture in the past has had some form of rites of passage for young boys to become men. Too many of our young boys now turn to more negative forms of proving their manhood like fathering children with multiple women, committing theft and murder, and finding safety and identity in the comfort of gangs.”

She cleared her throat.

“Our program here provides information on African culture and African-American history, daily rituals, ceremonial rituals, values, and leadership. Once the young person completes our Rites of Passage program, a completion ceremony is held where the new initiates are given African names with meanings that match their personalities.”

“May I?” Jackson interjected.

Cummings nodded her approval.

“The Rites of Passage program develops our youth toward achieving their fullest potential,” Jackson began. “They are capable of making a valuable contribution to their families and communities while instilling the values, customs, and the structure of the Maasai society into their own.”

“But these kids didn’t kill any lions,” Trey argued, thinking about what he and his father had regularly discussed when it came to the Maasai.

“In a way, they do,” Cummings added. “There’s an old African proverb that says, ‘When spiders unite, they can bind a lion.’”

“What does that mean?” Trey asked while thinking to himself, Great, more doubletalk.

“The lion moves over the earth seeking those it may devour,” Cummings responded. “Family Maasai seeks to bind and cast out the lion of drug abuse, violence, teen pregnancy, low self-esteem, disrespect for others, the lack of a true cultural heritage, and the spiritual deprivation in our communities. All these are the characteristics of the lion that must be defeated once the small spiders unite.”

Reaching the top score in Grand Theft Auto is NOT a Rite of Passage.

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