Black men bring positive message to Philly schoolchildren

YOU WON'T OFTEN come across a news headline that begins: "Local guy does something nice."

The cynic in you might say it's because such a story could be boring - and then maybe come up with a snarky Twitter hashtag to underscore this point.

But you should have been in South Philly at Andrew Jackson Elementary School on Tuesday, when a bunch of local guys did something nice, something valuable, something important.

The 20 or so fellas, decked out in suits, blazers and sweaters, talked to a group of third- and fourth-graders about having goals in life and putting in the hard work to achieve 'em as part of the kickoff for Year 2 of Black Male Engagement (BMe).

BMe, which is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and other philanthropic groups, was launched a year ago in Detroit and Philadelphia, bringing together more than 2,000 black men who recorded videos about the positive work they do every day in their neighborhoods.

About $425,000 in grants also were awarded to applicants to further their community work, said Donna Frisby-Greenwood, the Knight Foundation program director for Philadelphia.


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit