Wednesday, October 23, 2013


We got the email! We're heading to Uganda in Thanksgiving! Court date, early December. YES YES YES! We are absolutely out of our minds with this boy we get to meet.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Forum on our young black males: notes

What is the capacity of our young black males? It is limitless

What are the barriers? There are identity problems, access problems, ‘we are there for you” institutions often get in the way. 

How do we get them to see their capacity is limitless? It is a matter of will power. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy, if you do not believe you can, you won’t. 

If black children aren’t supported, aren’t solid at home, they won’t succeed academically.

It takes more money to house someone in jail than to send them to college. One in three black men will go to jail.

What is my greatest fear about my son? He will end up in prison. Not by his choice. By someone else’s mistakes. By profiling him. By the day he doesn’t have the right documentation on hand, or didn’t dress right.

Hip Hop. Post-modern, cultural, post-industrial aesthetic form. Kanye West, old stuff. You Can’t Tell Me Nothing. I had a dream that I bought my way to heaven. It’s all about materialism. But when I woke I spent that on a necklace. Existential spiritual angst.

Hip hop is about identity. Children want to be rappers, actors, basketball players: These are the only forms in mainstream society where one can be successful AND BE BLACK. It’s the only roles they see as available to them.

Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, old stuff…

You are noble. Don’t buy into the lie. My son is noble. How do you survive a police interaction when you have a black son? I am going to survive this interaction. He knows who he is. He is calm. He says, my wallet is in my bag. I am reaching into my bag to get my wallet. I am now doing this.

Call on the Elders.
Maya Angelou: Still I rise. Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Langston Hughes. Mother to Son.
Gloria Burgess.

Parents, come into the school. Support your kids.There is no such thing as an AT RISK KID. The system named you that. No value in putting black kids in a black only college. It’s cultural isolation. It’s very temporary. And yet for once, it is good to think about being a writer, not a black writer.

How do I make sure my black son doesn’t just identify with the black mom in the family and not the white dad? The first thing that binds us is humanness. Teach him about valuing,  honoring his culture. Value your African heritage. Value your Celtic heritage. It makes us who we are.