Mufasa's Pride at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. Credit: Photograph courtesy of Jonathan Kearn/Mufasa’s Pride.

This post was originally published on Defender Network

The definition of being a Black man in today’s society is often dictated by the stigma placed on them and much of what is shown in the media and pop culture.

Aggressive, strong, void of emotion, hypersexual and overly masculine are a few stereotypes Black men carry. However, now more than ever, there are many in Houston taking control of the narrative.

Mufasa’s Pride Rites of Passage Program is just one example of this shift. Since 2010, the Houston-based non-profit has created a safe space for urban adolescent males between the ages of 12-17 to redefine their meaning of manhood through community-based programs.

“My mother put me in this program because she knew it would be a safe space for me to talk about things important to me as a young man,” 16-year-old Vaughn Poole said. “I keep an open relationship with my mom, but sometimes she thinks I’m hiding stuff from her, or she doesn’t ask me the right questions.”

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