A recent post, “Death of the Black Man From Inside Out,” by Aleasa Word on the Uptown Magazine website is a call to action for parents of African-American sons. Word bemoans the well-known statistics about the woeful state of affairs for Black men. She recounts the never-ending reports of homicides, incarcerations, and being shunned by corporate America. Further, she acknowledges, “Stress levels in these men cause high rates of hypertension, drug addiction, unchecked depression, and even add to weight gain and cancer rates.”
Within Word’s reiteration of the dismal but true facts about the state of our black boys, she poses questions for their parents that point to action that we can take to improve the likelihood that our sons will beat the odds.
Things That Parents Could Do to Help Our Sons:
- Groom our sons with the expectation that they will go into advanced careers, such as doctors, lawyers, scientists, or professors
- Teach them not too tease, isolate, or bully their peers for being smart and wanting to follow a professional career path
- Take our sons to museums and watch Discovery Channel with them
- Look for opportunities outside our neighborhoods
- Teach our sons to take pride in their appearance every day
- Teach our sons that there is a different way to behave at home, at school, at the workplace, and out in the community
Despite being tired, busy, or overwhelmed, parents—including single mothers—must make sure that they are sending a prepared young man who was nurtured and taught by a parent who recognized her or his responsibility to that son and our community.
- Memphis Businessman Urges Young Black Men to Pull Up Saggy Pants (whnt.com)
- Fighting the odds for Oakland’s young black males (sfchronicle.com)