Without adequate education, our children are unlikely to follow the paths to achievement blazed by the likes of Justice Marshall and Congressman Mitchell. Instead, the life trajectory of our young black men today is aimed at the Baltimore City Detention Center, where nearly 60,000 people (nearly 10 percent of the city's population) are processed each year. As founders of a public charter school geared toward male students, we are seeking to fulfill Douglass' vision by tipping the scales of opportunity for a generation of young men of color in the city. At times, initiatives such as ours appear unnecessary. The abstract statistics we are given provide hope: increased high school graduation rates and lower violent crime rates among young black males. But more intimate knowledge of circumstances in our neighborhoods confirms otherwise. Urban black parents whisper their fears for their sons, and then quietly move out of Baltimore City to what they pray are safer neighborhoods.