The power of a man is evident in the voices of the great leaders throughout time. The male energy has inspired nations to rise for fundamental change.

We can look at figures like President Obama, Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others to see examples of great leaders. Let us not forget great men like the Virgin Islands second elected Governor Cyril E. King.

We made it! We are now men. We have the power to inspire young boys to become men. I believe we can.

Growing up in the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean as a whole we learn how to be men. We are all bred to have a certain pride, assertiveness and appreciation for manhood. It is our time to pass on the tradition.

Adult males provided a rights of passage for us when we were growing up. They demonstrated what it meant to be a man, a father, an activist. These elders did not let up and expressed their disappointments when we made mistakes. Some allowed us to live vicariously through them.

At this critical moment in time, we men will have to set our differences aside to achieve the goal of positive change. Brothers we have to be honest, we all have sizable egos. But at times our egos can do more harm than good. Our young brothers are killing each other. Have we failed them? Did we not provide a rights of passage?

What have we done collectively as men in our VI community? Can we really come together for positive change? Our young brothers need us to be an example. Our young brothers need to see us respect women, respect family, respect elders and respect ourselves. Are we demonstrating the concept of manhood?

Our young warriors need to know how to channel their energy. We need to teach them how to apply their street wisdom to legitimate professions. We can’t ask them to walk the righteous path when we are not doing our best to teach through our actions. Let’s take a stand now. We are men. We must work to ensure all young boys get to experience the joy and responsibility of being a man.

Our ancestors were warriors. Their energy flows through us and it can ignite a village. Will we show young brothers how to use their power to create life and not take one? Will we give our young brothers the tools to succeed?

We have to call on the spirits of great leaders and let the vibration move us to action. Can we? Will we?

Our sisters are losing their husbands, brothers, fathers, sons and friends due to misguided aggression. The time is now for us to become a big brother to our VI youth. Let’s rise together and promote brotherhood, manhood, neighborhood.