Earlier this year I presented to a group of White women. I only say White women to help the readers understand the importance of being objective and understand that we all think differently based on the way we were raised, our environments, and especially our….privilege…
My topic was “Strategies For Assisting With Reluctant Readers.” I was extremely aware of the demographic that would be present; White women and a few Black women and maybe a handful of males. I was extremely aware of the solutions that I have heard over and over and OVER and OVER… about helping reluctant readers….I was extremely aware of the challenges that educators face with teaching…reluctant readers … I AM also very familiar with why those solutions will never ever ever work and why those challenges are not really there. It is a figment of …their…her…his…imagination.
For some it might seem as if I discuss racial issues a lot, but in reality it really is not discussed enough. Its always that elephant …or rhinoceros in the room. People think they are showing just how non-racist and objective and fair they are to our young people by taking them in their homes or teaching about Rosa Parks and MLK. Oh….whoa…there is more to diversity than that.
Individuals prefer to parallel the issues that Blacks still face and have faced 50 years ago, 75 years ago, 100 years ago, 200 years ago to those of ….well let me be quiet…
But as I continue to highlight Black men who are truly uplifting and strong and leaders of our community, I must highlight one that is close to me. This is my….can I say..baby daddy? (It’s my blog so I guess I can say what I want…🤷🏽♀️) I mean…we were married before, we speak very often, and we respect each other….and the way I have always understood this word….well…I’ll just say, my son’s dad because as hard as I have been on him, he has truly been one of the best people I have had in my life…
From being the support when our son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, to being that positive energy when our son was in a coma and doctors said he would not make it, we have supported each other. Even taking my advice when I have noticed things, he has shown our son how life makes us grow and learn from our mistakes. Less than seven months ago he was on a virtual call with me when our son almost passed out again from a diabetes related incident and as a team, we are always able to remain strong.
Regardless of life lessons I have learned, he listens and offers words of solace and always compliments me and tells me how great of a mom I am. This is definitely not the norm for many divorced couples, but we realize the importance of raising a Black male (yup… I am reiterating race again) in our America.
Mike is not just a great father, but he is a great police officer. Too often we do not take the time to uplift those officers or see the day to day issues that they face; particularly those Black men. They are disrespected, they have to deal with the double consciousness of being Black and a cop.
I applaud him, I pray for him, I admire the relationship that he has with his son. I sometimes smile at how attentive he has become to things that I share with him regarding his son and how he has taken moments to reflect. I am proud that I have such a respectful relationship with him and our son sees this.
We both agree that our son will turn out to be great and it is not because he is perfect or because he instantly learns the lessons that we and others around us try to instill, but it is because he sees and feels the love that we have for him and the respect that we show each other even when we have disagreed.
On Mother’s Day weekend, I applaud the father of my only child and thank him for the gift of having our own #GreatnessinTheMakingBlackMan
Thanks Michael Shaun for sharing….
YOU; Black Father, Entrepreneur…
I am a person who truly is “living the American dream.” I hear that quoted statement all the time from my colleagues in a sarcastic manner, but I say it with no sarcasm. I am “middle class,” educated, optimistic, happy, self aware, hardworking, humble, kind, odd, black father. Most of the time I feel like I am an alien, like artist Lil’ Wayne says, when I socialize with other members of our society. I am okay with it.
I am a police officer who patrols the lower economic, mostly black populated, area of a city. Since I can remember, I have always been fascinated with uniformed clothing professions. I grew up with a mother and father who wore uniforms in their line of work; military, post office and police. When I was nine years old, I attended my father’s graduation from the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico. I was highly impressed by the facility and the men and women of the academy. Ever since that significant experience, I had an interest in being and F.B.I. Agent. I later learned, as an adult, being a police officer for a few years was the easiest path to becoming accepted in the F.B.I. Academy. Overtime, my interest in F.B.I. has weakened and my interest in remaining as a uniform police officer working in community I call “mine,” has grown.
Ironically, I promote positivity amongst my race by having an extreme positive attitude or optimistic dialogue with men and women of color. I also use media platforms to share positive content or create original positive content. I think positivity is one of three or four attributes that need to be used and shared by anyone to become successful in life; including financial, emotional, mental and spiritual success. (https://youtu.be/uZWI7xqYMbo)
Challenges as a black man in American law enforcement is the challenge of satisfying commanding officers and civilians that I swore to protect and serve simultaneously. On one side; we have old school police mentality, high ranking officers who do not know or forgot the culture of the majority of the people that we serve. On the other side; we have civilians who don’t trust police due to unwanted encounters with police, dislike or distrust opinions of the police due to unwanted encounters passed down from generation to generation and negative stereotypes (mostly created by media biases) ingrained in their minds. Imagine the challenge for a black female in my male dominant profession?
The biggest challenge I have as a professional black man is anything that I am involved in and has “profession” attached to it, seems like I have to accomplish more than the white man for us to be look at equal value in the thoughts of the person, group or organization in control of that profession. I am afraid of what I will find if I dig any deeper after inquiring many of my peers’ education history. So far, every black officer I know has a four year college degree and/or military experience but a few white officers I know have only a high school diploma and no military experience.
I overcame and overcome obstacles by using same formula every successful person I know, read about and watched overcame their obstacles. I believe the formula works for all people disregard of person’s “race, color, religion, national origin or citizenship status, sex, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, disability, military status” and social economic class.
The formula is I am grateful for all I have regardless of quantity or quality, holding myself more accountable to things occurring in my life, not blaming others for my mishaps of failures, becoming more self aware of my weaknesses and strengths/gifts, doubling down on my strengths/gifts, using my strengths/gifts with empathy to help others via hard work and patience and not expecting anything in return.
I do not have any specific day to day mantra. Anytime my mind is idle or I feel a sense of complaint surfacing, I think or vocalize a list of as many things I have and express my gratitude for each and every noun that comes to mind.
I do not know how I manage everything I do. That is a weakness I am still working on. As mentioned earlier, self awareness is part of overcoming an obstacle. For now, I live one day at a time and I prioritized matters in order I think is best for all that is affected by the decision I make. Sometimes, I have to make a hard decision of saying “no” to make my tasks manageable.
People inspire me. Observing optimistic people who are aware of their gifts and use their gifts to propel themselves and others to success without compromising inspires me. My son and the potential I see in my son’s success and contribution to our society also inspire me.
The advice for any young black man who is facing challenges and trying to move up is use the tools listed in this blog.
Follow Mike at:
His YouTube channel: 2 Cops Inside the Uniform
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