Raising Black Boys to Men

A Mother's Guide to Raising Thugless Sons

Archive for the category “Pre-Adolescent”

Are Black Boys Losing Hope?

Recently, I read a very disturbing CNN article on the increase in suicides among Black boys. What? That can’t be — but, it’s true! Sadly, the suicide rates among black boys has now surpassed their White counterparts.

As a mother of 3 sons, I was deeply moved by this article for several reasons, and wondered how would I cope if one of my sons lost the desire to live and took his own life. I can’t imagine what would drive a young, boy to the brink of hopelessness that he no longer desires to live!

Researchers, who conducted the study, were just as surprised in seeing the dramatic increase among Black boys, since suicide rates have historically been higher in White boys. The study revealed that Black boys chose to take their own lives by hanging or suffocation.

Is this a wake up call? Are Black boys losing hope and see no future for themselves? Better yet, what future are we, as adults, giving to our boys? Yeah, sure there could be a number of reasons why a young, boy would choose to take his own life. Researchers suggest that one reason is that Black children have more exposure to violence and aggression than Whites. But, are we, as adults, adding fuel to the fire by not providing them with a safe haven or positive outlets for self-expression?

Children aren’t immune to society’s issues of racial inequality, poverty, violence, food injustice, and bigotry — they can sense when something is wrong! They may not understand the full context of things happening in their surrounding; all they know is that they feel scared.

No child should feel alone and hopeless, without anyone to talk to. Sadly, mental illness treatment has long been a stigma in the Black community. But, isn’t saving our sons lives more important!

Nothing In = Nothing Out!

In order for Black boys to grow into responsible, young men, they must have the necessary knowledge and guidance, which helps in their development.

Children aren’t raised in a vacuum — they must be taught values (respect, honesty, integrity, acceptance of others, etc.) and principles that help them to make the best decisions, as they grow into young adults. If we leave their development to chance, hoping that they’ll just turn out okay, then we shouldn’t expect much.

Raising sons demands direct involvement from parents, particularly mothers; since she is the first teacher. She builds the foundation upon which her son will stand and grow into a young, Black man. If she teaches him nothing, then it’s only a matter of time before we see what he’s been taught. And, by that time it may just be too late!

A Heart-Breaking Reality!

I think about all the mothers, like myself, who’ve raised sons and feared for their sons’ safety — not infrequently, but on a daily basis. We’ve watched our sons leave the house, and have prayed for their safe return. But, for some mothers, their son didn’t come home — a son lost to another senseless crime. Sadly, for many mothers, this is their reality!

Why It Matters

I’ve searched continuously within for the reasons why it matters that I write about raising black boys to men.  My main reason for writing on this subject is that I’ve raised three boys, who are now young men, living their own lives. The other reason is that I wanted to share my own experiences and success to help other mothers raising sons. But, I can’t deny that I’m saddened, frustrated, and tired of hearing the alarming statistics of black boys, who become victims of homicide, drugs, and the penal system.

Although my advice and guidance could help all mothers raising boys, it is intended for black mothers, who face special challenges in raising their sons.

I’m in no way presenting myself as an expert on issues in society; only as an expert on raising my own boys.

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