Source: Glenn Burkins / Q City Metro
Bishop Phillip Davis, senior pastor of Nations Ford Community Church, has some definite opinions about how to address the plight of young black males.
Qcitymetro: How did the idea for an all-male school come about?
Davis: Actually, one of our elders said he remembers me talking about it when we first started the church (in 1988). It was part of the overall vision plan. The overall vision plan was and still is to revolutionize and change this entire Nations Ford corridor. That’s the ultimate I have in mind, in terms of housing and development. I believe that because of its centrality to Interstate 77 and the airport, this corridor has the potential to be a high-quality place for people to live and raise families. So the vision is not just to have an all-males school but a system of education. That system of education would be from early childhood development all the way through college. I figure that if Jerry Falwell can do it, we can do it. It’s just a matter of getting people to understand and make it a priority.”
Q: Why the emphasis on males?
D: Part of it is the bias I have of being educated in an all-male school. I went to mostly all-boys schools all my life, but particularly in high school, at Percell High School in Cincinnati. I then went to Xavier University in Cincinnati. There are two Xaviers – one in New Orleans and one in Cincinnati. My claim to fame there is that I took classes with (Republican House Speaker) John Boehner. We took a marketing class together. But that’s the bias — I came from an all-boys environment in school and saw that I needed that discipline. I needed that structure. I needed someone who understood the uniqueness of how males learn and are taught. The other part was, I felt the freedom to explore the soft subjects – reading and music and typing – all those things that now serve me so well. My friends in the public schools, they weren’t touch typing. They weren’t getting into the literature. I had to, and I didn’t feel the need to put up a front because all the boys had to.
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