Raising Black Boys to Men

A Mother's Guide to Raising Thugless Sons

Archive for the category “Young Adult”

Momma Don’t Play That!

Toya Graham, the mom who was videotaped slapping her son, during the recent Baltimore riot wasn’t having it. Since her son didn’t have enough sense to make the right decision, she made the decision for him: take your behind home!

I applaud Toya for not allowing her son to get caught up in the disturbance, which could have resulted in his arrest; changing his life forever! Way to go Toya!

If more parents took the responsibility for raising their children, then we wouldn’t have to continue asking the question: What’s wrong with Black youth? And, you didn’t hear that from me!

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Raising Thugless Sons: Removing Black Male Stereotypes

Raising Thugless Sons Seminar
When did “thug” and “thug-life” become status symbols for Black youth to achieve? This was a question asked at a recent seminar: “Raising Thugless Sons,” of which I was a participant.

The seminar was sponsored by Good Deeds International, and hosted by Dawn “Soy” Kamara, of the Coffee Talk with Soy radio show.

Panelists included: Tiffany Burney-Foy, Ed.S (single, teenage mother of four now Assistant Principal in the Atlanta Public Schools); Dainhen Butler (CEO, Fun Time Moon Walks and radio host); Geoffrey Ingram (co-founder of iCreate Leadership Development Initiative, Inc.); Wilford Y. Smith, Jr., MPA (First Vice Chair of the Douglas County Democratic Party and retired Senior Corrections Officer with the New Jersey Department of Corrections); S. Candee Whitfield (Licensed Professional Counselor); and Benjamin Downs (Social Worker, Langston Hughes High School).

During the discussion, it was evident that there was a generation gap with the  definition of the term “thug.” The question to ask is: Why are we trying to redefine a term, which represents individuals, whose actions have no positive impact on the advancement of the Black community?

One thing that the entire audience could agree on is that a change in the self-destructive behavior and mentality, of young, Black men is needed. I’m still promoting the idea that raising thugless sons begins with the teaching and educating of Black boys, at an early age.

The conversation has begun — time will tell whether the conversations will help bring about change!

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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