Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Posts Tagged ‘black teens’

Has the Rites of Passage Ended?

Posted by Thomas on January 20, 2011

Before you continue:

This post has 375 words.

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Life Shifts

My son has turned 18 and will graduate from high school in a few months. During the holidays I had a conversation with a cousin of mine. He talked about shifts—how, when we move from one stage or phase of our lives into another. I had not framed it that way but my son moving into the next part of his life is a shift for us as parents. So, what do parents do when the rites of passage ends?

Stop Living in Denial

I thought a good deal about this question, prompted by the conversation with my cousin in December. To some degree I was in denial—thinking that my son moving on would not affect me. Now, I know otherwise.

So much energy is bound up in seeing after our children that it is inevitable a hole forms once they are no longer under roof. Though I am excited for my son, I know I will miss him. In fact, many in our circle of friends and family will miss him incredibly. So what’s next for us as parents, for me as a father?

Parenting Never Ends

Well, parenting never stops. I always think of myself at my son’s age. I vividly recall how much support and guidance I still required in my late teens and early twenties from the caring adults around me. Though I feel my son is better positioned than I was by eighteen he will still need wise counsel. The formalized rites of passage may be over, but continued guidance remains constant. He may need us less but he will still need us.

Manhood Training Continues

I have been open with my son, letting him know there is a great deal of information I cannot teach him due to my ignorance. I have encouraged him to continue seeking out mentors—older, wiser men that are willing to continue his responsible manhood training by example or through friendships. In that vein his rites of passage program will last a long time. To all other dads out there take comfort in the parenting you have done; because the proper foundation has been set, all else will be as it should. No need to fear the shift ahead.



Posted in African American Men, Black Boys, Black Dads, Black Fathers, Dads, Family, Mentorship | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Positive Black Boy News

Posted by Thomas on January 12, 2011

Despite being reported on in 2010, this article fills me with great hope. Especially now that my son has turned 18. This is his last year of high school (I’m so proud of him I want to shout from the tallest skyscraper!!). He has decided to enter the U.S. Coast Guard after graduation. I’m proud of my son and hopeful for all our sons as we impact their lives for good and they forge a better world for all of us hereafter.

This is black boy news WORTH sharing. I received an email from my sister–she’s a U.S. Air Force veteran and one of the brightest minds I know–sharing this extremely positive news. We are inundated with terribly sad, hopeless, and negative news media about black boys in our neighborhoods and across the country regularly. Take a moment to read this ABC article about Urban Prep Charter Academy in Chicago. Urban Prep celebrates 100% of their graduating class accepted to major 4-year universities. The charter program opened its doors in 2006.

Praise God! Hope still reigns.

Some do the hard work it takes to positively impact the lives of our youth. Two big thumbs up and a virtual high-five to the staff at Urban Prep for living in the trenches and getting it done and to their senior class for seeing the importance of education.

What are you doing in your world to make a difference in boys’ lives? It only takes one person to change the world…why not you?

Urban Prep staff named Person of the Week on ABC.


Posted in African American Families, African American Men, Black Boys, Black Dads, Black Fathers, Dads, Family, Positive News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »