By Jim Williams

CHICAGO (CBS) — One group of older African American men with a humorous name, shared some wise words about their community.

The group is composed of educators, businessmen, coaches and other role models. CBS 2’s Jim Williams went to their annual summer gathering in this original report.

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At the picnic, the portions were generous, but the wisdom couldn’t even be measured.

“As African-Americans it takes a village to raise kids,” said Tom Milan.

It is what these Black men have done: loved and supported children, even those not their own, in a community where too many fathers today walk away..

They call themselves the Slowbreakers, former athletes poking fun at themselves because they can no longer run the fast break. But when they were young and fast there were far fewer opportunities professionally for African-Americans.

“The only things a black man could’ve done back then after finishing college was either a schoolteacher or the post office or social work,” said Dennis Boston.

Still, they grew up in neighborhoods full of positive male role models.

“Everybody in the neighborhood raised us,” said James Dawson. “He lived next-door to a doctor; you might have live next-door to a janitor. But you respected both.”

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Today, many of their children are thriving, but leaving the old neighborhoods and settling into integrated communities. Thomas Milan says progress has a price.

“Now when you move away, you don’t have those kinds of role models,” he said

As for solutions, Bob Smith says,“We have to have better control of our communities; better parenting in our communities…It’s not just one thing.”

The Slowbreakers are expanding their village to mentor children whose fathers are not around.

“We’re in contact with the number of the high schools in the city. and we make sure we have involvement with those high schools,” said Tom Letcher.

The Slowbreakers, still on the move.

The Slowbreakers’ dues are only five dollars a month. The money goes to their college scholarship fund.

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The father of CBS 2 traffic reporter Derrick Young is member of the group.