Written by Malikah Muhammad
Brown skin boys with a special light in their eyes and a smile as big as the sun. How do we maintain the joy that our black boys naturally possess in todays world? How do we ensure that our children are well equipped with the tools they need to survive today?
Be Aware of the Time that We Live In
The world that our children live in is not the world in which we grew up. Just as the world that our parents were raised in is not the world we experienced. That world does not exist. The neighbors in the area do not know our sons, and black boys do not know their neighbors. The man at the corner store does not know the children, the ice cream man barely drives by, and their own school teachers do not live in their areas. Community is nearly nonexistent. This is where raising black sons becomes so terrifying. This is also where creating your own village becomes necessary. Create a community as a parent that allows your child to thrive among principled people you trust.
Teach Black Boys Self-Love
Our sons not only come from greatness, they are greatness! Teach black boys of their greatness, their divinity, and their destiny. Speak in the affirmative. Not of what they have the potential to be, but of what lies within them to be cultivated and explored. Our sons should most certainly know that they will face opposition. However, emphasis need not be placed on their opposition but in their ability to overcome all opposition. When your children tell you their dreams, support them despite the odds or obstacles. No one can hold back a free man from what he sets his mind to. Our children are inheriting this world. No government, societal beliefs, or group of people can hold them back from what they are destined to do. Teach black boys to have and create their own. Give them the upper hand in matters of business, family, and moral conduct.
Let Black Boys be Children
Though they are growing into men, they are children now. Remember that while preparing them for manhood still allow them to daydream, play, imagine, pretend, run, jump, flip, wrestle, yell, experiment, and explore. The world is theirs! It’s important to be balanced in teaching responsibility while also not placing the weight of the world on their shoulders too early. Allow them to be children.We don’t have to grown our boys up too quickly, and for the record, 18 is NOT a grown man. Don’t release your sons too soon without the proper tools to handle this life. Be balanced in guiding him into his manhood while also understanding that he still needs you and he is still growing into maturity.
The world is ever evolving. Raising a black boy in THIS time means rearing them to be prepared as leaders of a New World. Erase generations of ineffective practices, while embedding new ideas that will be the basis of a whole new paradigm. Protect black boy joy at all cost. The future of our world is based on how well we raise and care for them.