Frank Fiore – Novelist & Screenwriter

January 13, 2015

The Message of MURRAN to Black Leadership

Filed under: MURRAN — Frank Fiore @ 8:59 AM
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Our young teens are at risk – and it will get a lot worse if we don’t recognize the underlining problem.

The path from boys to men is littered with ruined lives of young teens – black teens being hit the most. Young Blacks attracted to gangs as a substitute for being a man or teens scoring high in ‘Grand Theft Auto’ are NOT rites of passage to manhood.

Compounding the problem for Black teens is the lack of Black leadership from the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who see Selma in everything from books to restaurant menus and would rather blame the problems of Black youth on racism instead of the core problem and the core values needed by today’s youth.

In MURRAN, Trey – a young Black teen – after being framed for the murder of a gang leader – flees to Africa with his schoolteacher who happens to be a Maasai warrior – a Murran. Though initially repulsed by the Maasai customs, Trey slowly comes to value their traditions and morals. As he goes through the Maasai warriors’ rite of passage becoming one of their own, he learns what Black African culture is truly about. Only after confronting lions, disapproving Maasai elders, and his own fears does Trey begin to understand that men are made and not born.

He also learns the true meaning of a warrior and the core values that the Maasai hold. The 3Rs – Respect, Responsibility, and the celebration of Ritual.

  • Respect for oneself and others in their community.
  • Taking responsibility for one’s actions and responsibility for their community.
  • And the celebration of their ritual.

There’s an African proverb that goes: “If you don’t initiate the young, they will burn down the village to feel the heat”. How appropriate for today’s news re: Ferguson.

Today’s society fails our youth by not providing a proper rite of passage from boys to men.

“We tend to think in this society when a male reaches 18 or 21, graduates high school or college, has that first drink or sexual experience, drives a car or joins the army, or worse, robs or steals, rapes a woman or takes a daredevil risk, beats up a “sissy” or shoots someone, that he is now miraculously a man.  These and related notions are some of the most pernicious yet commonplace in our society today.  The repercussions of this ignorance could not be more far reaching.  They are everywhere to behold. 

We live in an age where suspended adolescence seems to be the norm for all too many men. Indigenous cultures knew better.  For them there was no such thing as adolescence.  You were either a child or an adult.  To mark that threshold, to perform and accomplish that transformation, was a function of the village itself.  It was a cultural obligation. Biology alone would not do it.  Village elders, both men and women, accepted the responsibility their ancestors entrusted them with.”

We must properly initiate the young.

Sharpton, Jackson, Rangel and all the other self-appointed Black leaders in this country who promote an agenda of racial hate and irresponsible behavior are doing a great disservice to Black youth by not facing the core problem– the need for a rite of passage – and instilling a set of core values – the 3Rs.


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