Raising Black Boys to Men

A Mother's Guide to Raising Thugless Sons

Archive for the tag “thuglife”

Knowledge of Self is the Beginning of Knowledge!

I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against. — Malcolm X

A friend of mine recently asked me what I thought of the petition to eradicate the word “thug?” I knew that she was referring to the Baltimore Mayor and President Obama referring to the protestors as thugs, but I decided to play devil’s advocate and ask: “Why is that now a bad term when our youth have embraced thuglife since Tupac first introduced that word?”

Since its origin, the word thug has referred to a criminal, mobster, gangster, badboy, or anyone involved in criminal activity, or roughneck behavior. The action or actions define the individual. For instance, any woman can have a child, but the actions of that woman define her as a mother, as in the case of Toya Graham.

From the moment Tupac introduced ‘thuglife,’ the music industry and Black culture have embraced the label ‘thug’ as a street cred, or badge of honor. We watched as gangsta rap artists profited from the glorification of thuglife, while Black youth seemingly destined to live life on the frays of society, called each other the N-word or thug, as a term of endearment. During this time, we were silent.

Now, Blacks are at a crossroad asking: “Where do we go from here?” As the debate continues about the use of the word thug, the real question is: “How do Blacks want to define and represent themselves to the rest of the world?” The answer to that question begins with knowledge of self!

The world is watching!

 

Thug Life: A One-Way Road to Prison

Earlier this week, Aaron Hernandez, former tight end for the New England Patriots, was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

His sentencing should serve as a lesson for all young, black men that there is a price to pay for living the thug life.

Aaron had a promising career and a 40 million dollar contract, but the temptations of the streets had more attraction. What he needed was a circle of friends, who weren’t afraid to say “Man, take your ass home!”

Our sons are vulnerable to those same temptations in society waiting to devour them. We should educate them to the reality that a criminal path leads to prison — one stupid mistake could change their lives forever!

Peer pressure plays a big part in the decisions that our sons make. But, we should constantly teach our sons to be leaders and not  followers.

Every son lost to prison represents another mother with a broken heart!

Raising a Black Boy in America? Not Easy!

Congratulations, it’s a boy! Those were the words spoken by the midwife, after having my first son. Man, was I happy! But, on the inside my emotions were shaking like jello. But, despite my insecurities I was ready to take on the world, to ensure my son would grow up happy, and protected from a society that glorifies thuglife.

At that moment, I thought “Heck! I can do this; my momma raised a strong, fearless, black woman.” Then, suddenly I realized that I would be fighting against negative forces in society waiting to devour my son like a sacrificial lamb. Damn! Raising a Black boy in America; this wasn’t going to be an easy job.

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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