US Mid-terms J-3: 100 black men are combatting racism in an Atlanta school

© RFI/Cécile Pompeani

In Georgia, one of the states in the US where the legacy of segregation is still heavily felt, African Americans are hopeful that the state will get its first ever black governor - Stacey Abrams. But will that help the daily lives of the many who live in poorer areas surrounding the large cities? A private initiative didn't wait for the outcome of the elections and tries to achieve where politicians failed until now.

A group of young African-American kids are standing around computer screens, frenetically tapping away on the keyboards.

Location: a class room at B.E.S.T. Academy in one of the suburbs of Atlanta, capital of Georgia, US.

Python coding allows them to manipulate drones, the size of a small bird.

But it doesn't immediately work.

"Those whose drones are connected to wifi, tell me now!" says Bishara Abdul-Hamid, who stands in the middle of the teenagers, some of them with hoodies, others wearing masks.

The first test: make the drone go up. The ultimate test: make it fly through two hoops.

The class is part of an initiative by a group called 100 Black Men of Atlanta. The group is part of a conglomerate of similar organisations that was first established in Atlanta in 1986 by entrepreneur Nathaniel R. Goldston, III.

He encouraged a group of friends to go and help the city's underprivileged youth - mainly African Americans living in the poorer suburbs.

"The objective is to improve and enhance the lives of African American students, particularly in the inner city, by focusing on mentorship, education, economic empowerment, and health and wellness," says Keith Millner, Chairman of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta.


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