Archive for May, 2011

And so here I am at the 6 month mark of raising my grandsons. It is indeed an adventure as old folkways and mores had to be broken and new consciousness instilled. It has not been the walk in the park that some may think….

For one thing, even as a married man, For a very long time, I have lived a life free of babysitters, parent teacher meetings, school lunch, activities and sunday school…. My child, my stepchildren are all grown…. their children can come, visit, kick it with PaPa and Babi and go home… never in my mature active lifestyle did I expect to have to parent all over again. Fact is, my life as I have built and lived it has been fundamentally changed.

I am profoundly concerned about these young black boys’ consciousness. I want them to know where they came from. I want them to aspire to be the best they can be. I want them to have values about life….. I want them to have the moxie to navigate the prejudices and concerns of this society so that they can stand up, in spite of… I want them to have the light of God in thier heart. This is a fundamental change in the boys’ life program…

I got these boys at an age where they are majorly impressionable . To date, their life experience, their life lessons are from a profoundly weak of mind, mostly goofy, irresponsible mindset. The record of behavior speaks volumes and never ceases to amaze.

Some behavior is precisely that which I left quick fast and in a hurry more than thirty years ago. For the life of me, I just cannot understand why and how I must endure this…

That said, this is a world that even as there are whispers of this “post racial society”, we are still living in a world where we have to teach the young people from whence they came…. We have to teach them how to stand up in a world that may judge them for the color of their skin, not by the content of their character..

Yet, I am not their father (don’t ask)…. Neither I nor my wife are a substitute for thier Mother…. a fact made more than difficult because their mom just has not cared enough to reach out….. 

And so, we are forced to impress our consciousness… our dna…. our folkways and mores into young boys who have experienced so much degradation, who have never been taught that they could do whatever in life that they wanted to achieve…. 

The system does not help.. in fact, it makes things more difficult. They act like I am the one who is wrong…. The system is not for the grandparents and in fact they are not for the man… A brotha walking into the offices of assistance surely must be someone trying to get over…. and so the neck twisting sista gives me attitude while making me jump through hoops to get some assistance and guidance in this already stressful situation…

Raising Black Boys…. instilling consciousness… remodeling behaviors… enduring stereotypes of African American men…

A Paradigm of Change…. for real.


As much as I don’t want to make this a racial issue, I cannot help but notice that a lot of the objections to the Presidency of Barack Obama sound just like the descriptions, considerations, perceptions and applications ascribed to black folk in the days of slavery, Jim Crow and Segregation. I mean, what is the whole deal about President Obama’s birth certificate? From the time he announced his aspiration to run for President to now, folk have demanded that President Obama show his birth certificate to prove his citizenship.

And in a move to end all the speculation and perhaps in response to Donald Trumps tirades of late, the President provided the nation and indeed the world with the document that proves that he is, in fact, an American.

So.. President Obama had to show his papers in order to pass, play and politic.

Kind of like the days when Slaves were out and off the plantation… If they were seemingly out of place they would have to show papers… to prove they belonged.

Kind of like in the Jim Crow south when Folk had to show proper “papers” in order to vote…. to show they belonged.

Kind of like in Apartheid South Africa, black folk had to show papers in order to move about…. to show they belonged.

To not have your papers in order had dire consequences….

And now we are learning that even though he has demonstrated his citizenship, the “birthers” are not over the subject. They are pressing in the courts, that the displayed birth certificate is a forgery. What????

Seemingly black folk always have to qualify ourselves.. We have to validate ourselves.. It matters not your station in life… It matters not the struggle and battle you fought to get where you are… You will still have to show your “papers”….

The more things change, the more they stay the same…