Nightly News | February 23, 2011
>>> we've been marking black history month along with our partner website, thegrio.com and its list of 100 history makers in the making. one of the names on the list is a man who has devoted a lot of time and energy to helping young african-american boys become successful men. our report tonight from dallas, texas, and nbc's ron mott.
>> he was a wonderful guy. and i had no idea that he did work like this.
>> reporter: at 58, dale long is old enough to be 7-year-old montell's grand dad but he's actually his big brother .
>> how about that, give me five.
>> reporter: not in the traditional sense, of course.
>> it sort of has a biblical touch to it, right?
>> reporter: for more than 40 years, long has mentored boys for big brothers big sisters of america . pulling them away from the lure of the streets with positive food for thought , with results to match.
>> he can be a very great influence to montell. you know, especially later in life and even now in life.
>> reporter: why did you decide to make this part of your life, this service that you have to kids?
>> somebody was there for me. there was always someone outside of my father and my mother and my family who was there for me.
>> you remember this?
>> reporter: long was there for michael johnson too, earning both a trip to the white house in 1999 when long was named national big brother of the year. today johnson is a successful barber and big brother himself.
>> i don't mind passing it along. that's for it is for men today is stepping up to the plate and passing it on.
>> reporter: but long says far too few black men are stepping up to guide black boys in the trials of growing up.
>> in order to be men, you've got to see men. simple as that.
>> reporter: so he's turned to fraternity brothers hoping to recruit 10,000 men around the country to lead. what makes the barbershop the best place to try to recruit guys?
>> you can see it right here. i mean that's where men gather on saturday morning.
>> we've got some material.
>> reporter: a big brother , rounding up others who can make the cut as role models. ron mott, nbc news, dallas.