Raising Black Boys to Men

A Mother's Guide to Raising Thugless Sons

Archive for the tag “love”

Why Black Parents Should Teach Kids to Love Self!

Not too long ago, I wrote a post: “When Will Black Lives Matter to Other Black People?,” in response to the killing of Tavin Rivers, 19, who lost his life over a pair of red, Chuck Taylor sneakers. His grieving mother, asked the very same question, as she languished over his lifeless body.

Weekly, I’m increasingly reading articles in which this very valid question is asked. As horrible as it is for the killing of Black men by police officers, it’s even more heartbreaking for Black men to continually kill each other, in senseless crimes.

In a recent Washington Post article, D.C. Council member LaRuby May (D-Ward 8) asked a similar profound question:”How do you make black lives matter to black people who have come to believe that they — and those who look like them — don’t matter?” In other words, how do you teach Black people to love self.

Just asking this type of question shows the complexity of the problems that exist in some Black communities — problems that stem from a deeply-rooted existence of self-hatred. Yep, I said it; now, let’s deal with it!

A love of self should be taught at an early age. This is a family value that is the responsibility of every Black parent, and impacts how children grow, learn, and interact with others in the world.

We’re witnessing a generation raised on reality TV and a pop culture far removed from a social climate that sparked lyrics such as James Brown’s “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m proud, and Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).”

Expecting a person to value the life of others, when they have no love for self, is like expecting a baby to run, when they haven’t learned to walk — it ain’t gonna happen without proper knowledge.

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Why are Black Fathers So Misunderstood?

The important lessons in this video for all fathers:

  • Be present
  • Accept your role and responsibility
  • Fathers make mistakes
  • Be part of your child’s life
  • Be an example

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!

Where’s the Damn Reset Button?

Today, the issues that impact Black youth: crime, drugs, police brutality, lack of jobs, limited access to quality healthcare and education are the norm and take center stage in the news. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing the same depressing news — never anything positive!

If Black boys deserve a future, and they do, then it’s time to hit the damn reset button and bring about a new change!

The issues I mentioned earlier shouldn’t be the norm to define the future life for our sons — they deserve better. Our sons should be hopeful and excited about their future, dreaming of one day becoming a doctor, scientist, professor, teacher, or CEO of a company. Notice that I didn’t say dreaming of one day becoming a rapper, or athlete? Not that there’s anything wrong with these professions. But, they shouldn’t serve as a carrot dangling before our sons, as if they can’t aspire to be anything else.

God doesn’t change the condition of a people until they themselves change!

The Greatest Love is Love of Self!

Love is a very powerful emotion! But, the love of self is the greatest love of all; as George Benson so eloquently sang in his song “The Greatest.”

Love of self can inspire an individual to accomplish great things. However, a lack of self-love can have the opposite effect, which may manifest itself as low. self-esteem, destructive behavior, and abuse against self and others.

As mothers, teaching our sons to love themselves is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. By doing so, we’re instilling in them a belief that they can accomplish whatever they desire.

For when you love self, you do what’s best for self and avoid those things that may destroy self! On this Valentine’s Day, inspire your son to love self!

You Can’t Have My Sons

From the moment each of my sons was born, I vowed that I would do everything within my power to prevent them from becoming a victim of homicide, drugs, and prison. To whomever could hear, I made my message loud and clear “You Can’t Have My Sons!”

Raising boys in a large, urban city has its own set of challenges. There is much for a mother to contend with: peer pressure, drugs, and crime. Despite these challenges, I chose to do whatever was necessary to prevent my boys from getting caught up in the thuglife!

Be Strong

Whether you’re raising boys with a mate, or you’re raising them alone, it takes a strong woman to raise a boy to a man.

While raising my boys, I reflected often on my mother who raised me and my four brothers alone. She was a young widow and had to be both mother and father. One thing I remember about her, is that she didn’t play. When she asked us to do something, she expected for us to do what she asked without any objection.

My mother was a strong woman. She didn’t allow for her unfortunate circumstance to get in the way of her mothering. Although, there wasn’t a father figure present, my mother provided love, but with a stern hand of discipline, when necessary.

 

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