Rappers and comedians are some of the smartest people; at least, I believe so.
I still love Kanye. Graduation is one of my favorite albums. From Good Morning “Some graduate, but still be stupid, to Goodnight “Dream beautiful and unusual…” his words are “Stronger” than the previous albums. (Ok… don’t stop reading if you disagree….🤣 it’s just my opinion.. I love the Old Kanye).
Anthony, my son loves music. (I introduced him in the previous blog, so please check that out!)
He introduces me to artist and he is like me; he listens to the lyrics. From Kid Kudi, Drake, Playboi Carti, J. Cole, Travis Scott, Childish Gambino, The Weekend, he has a never ending playlist of pretty good music. We are still going back and forth with some, but I allow him to play car “DJ.”
While writing this blog, I had him sit with me to listen to Graduation again. He knows this is one of my favorites. Good Morning lyrics resonate with us because we both see the “truth” in the blow lyrics. Ha! Read for yourself…
But….in addition to listening to music, I yell at my son. That was a pretty interesting transition, huh? We listen to music and then I yell…. But seriously, I’ve yelled at other Black males throughout my life too. I do not have any ill-intention when I yell, but I want them to hear me loud and clear. It’s not because I am a narcissist and want to be heard, but it is because I see how people treat them. I want them to see that they will always have to fight a battle, until people can learn to treat them with respect. I’ve heard comments (and believe me, my “SnapBack” is very witty) about the Black males in many capacities. From the way they dress, to their hairstyles, to their academic abilities, I’ve heard it. And each comment has made me more protective of them all. The reality is, anyone reading this blog has heard it too… don’t lie…🧐👀
But, I push them and “love” on them because I don’t ever want them to deal with those bad law enforcers. There are so many great ones though, but media and some daily encounters showcase those that are not always so great.
I don’t want them in our prisons being slaves to those rich A$& slave masters… oh jeezzzz… I didn’t mean to say that… I meant to those nice folks that own prisons…the private people that make lots of money to imprison the boys that are…just “policing” our Great ole USA….🤷🏽♀️ (forgive me for calling them slave masters, because we realize slavery ended, racism ended, and we are all treated fairly🤦🏾♀️)
Once upon a time, I yelled at Anthony for lying. His dad surprised him with a flip phone; exchanging it for his new iPhone. His car keys were taken off the key ring. I was angry. His dad was pretty annoyed by his behavior, and we chastised him in a practical way. We have had some very creative punishments (that might need to be a separate blog: Chastising Your Black Male) because we don’t want to lose him. We want him to believe in himself, but we really want him to understand the world we life in….
But after that one time of “correcting” him, I found this letter on my dresser. I read it a dozen times. I smiled. I cried. I went to hug him so tight, because no parent want to punish their child for something that really is not big, but for my Black son who lied, he needed this… because society will only see his skin…
The letter reads:
Our conversation continues:
Mom: Do you believe that your friends that do not look like you understand your plight?
Anthony: I don’t feel like they understand because they aren’t in my shoes such as I am not in their’s. They also do not have to fear racism I feel like.
Mom: Anthony, you have been apart of many programs to assist with mentoring Black males, what are some of them and what have they taught you?
Anthony: Those programs have taught me multiple things like how to handle myself in public, what to do if a cop approaches me. As well as what life as a successful minorities is.
Some of the programs are: EMBODI ( Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc); Men of Light (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity); KOP (Masons).
Mom: After watching, the Netflix series, When They See Us, what are your thoughts?
Anthony: My thoughts on the show are that it’s life. It’s the life of a black person. From any generation or time period. I see this as a semi awakening for people who didn’t know about things like this, such as white people or even just ignorant people…. but for others it’s just everyday life and what we have to fear about in general.
It reminds me of that song Neighbors by J. Cole… which is also how I describe my life in a sense… without the selling drugs but the fact that prejudice is everywhere and anywhere. In another song off that album called “Foldin clothes” it shows that stereotypes can hurt a black male specifically… it says in the song “…..
Anthony: This is showing that they have to put up a facade anywhere for anything… never truly allowing for them to be who they want to be.
Mom: Do you think this will ever go away?
Anthony: I’m unsure. Maybe, possible. If we all stop judging others, thinking for themselves. Maybe our generation…laugh… I don’t know..
Mom: Are fearful of being a Black male?
Anthony: not really fearful, but cautious for my life.
Mom: Even though you have been reared by two “good” parents, you are still afraid?
Anthony: Yes, I’m black….
We both stare at each other…*crickets*
Today as you read, share something positive about your Black son and how you see and know they are a “Champion.” Also, how have you has such hard conversations with them?
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