Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Posts Tagged ‘mentorship’

We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

Posted by Thomas on November 5, 2011

No matter your family’s origin (heritage) there is history to be proud of. History that encourages you and causes your head to be held high, your shoulders back, and your back straight. No matter what, your heritage has something, many things in fact, that will teach your son to be proud of who he is and the heritage that he comes from. Even when that history isn’t directly family related it can still be a positive and powerful message.

Above is an excerpt from a post I wrote earlier this week. On Thursday evening I attended the showing of Kadir Nelson’s Extraordinary We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball at the Freedom Tower in Miami. The event hosted and sponsored by Miami Dade College. The event last night was by invitation only and the corporate sponsors of the show were there, e.g. The Marlins (soon to be Miami Marlins). Kadir Nelson’s mother, Emily Gunter, was present and dynamic!

This was a night to remember. I admit, I’m not a huge sports fan. But this art exhibit was fantastic. Whether you like baseball or not the exhibit is worth your time. Nelson, is an exquisite artist. If you are in the Miami area go see this exhibit. Take at least three others with. Miami Dade College and the sponsors of this event did the city proud! Remember We Are the Ship exhibition, will remain free and open to the public at the Freedom Tower Nov. 4 – Jan. 8, 2012, during gallery hours. Find positive heritage messages to share with your son during his rites of passage program.

See video interviews with the artist on his website here.



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Wholesome Parenthood: Is It Worth It?

Posted by Thomas on January 12, 2011

Before you continue:
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Have you ever wondered if your parenting efforts, specifically, your efforts to be a good father are worth it? I mean, we know our children will disappoint us—for we disappointed our parents. Ever feel like throwing in the towel? Because you’re certain your child will bump their head on something foolish, real soon.

I’ve been there. I don’t like the idea of investing in something without the prospect of a decent return on that investment. Sometimes, I see my efforts in fatherhood through those same lenses. It is scary. I’ve said before, that being a parent is hands-down the hardest job I’ve ever had. And often times I wonder if my ranting and raving; and talking and talking and talking, is really making a difference in the life of my now teenage son.

We’ve seen in recent years, families close to us, struggle deeply in dealing with their young adults. And I’m not talking about kids reared in broken homes. These are kids—from families with involved moms and dads—making bad decisions; engaging in frightening behavior.

Is wholesome parenthood, particularly fatherhood, worth it? Why worry ourselves throughout sleepless nights over ungrateful and foolhardy children? (Sigh)

When I feel like this I try hard to remember the hell I put my mom through as a young adult. I try hard to step into the shoes of the young person. I try, despite the difficulties, to see things from the young person’s perspective—remembering where I came from.

When you start feeling down as a parent, second guessing your choices, your rules, the guidelines you’ve laid out for your child—exhale. Look in the mirror and say aloud “It’s worth it. It all will pay off in the end.” Trust that.

Remember, the ups and downs we experience with our children are only for a season. Have faith that you’ve done the best you could with what you had. And yes, from one parent to another, “YES!” it is all worth it. Your child will be a better person for all of your efforts. And that friends, is one of your positive contributions to the world at large.

God bless you!

May the Year of our Lord 2011 be very good to you and your loved ones.

I just finished reading Denzel Washington’s book A Hand to Guide Me. He makes a case for the Boys and Girls Club of America organization. He gives a compelling tale of how his own life was changed by the caring adults at his local club growing up. The remainder of the book is filled with personal testaments from other successful people (and not all are celebrities – which is great). Get the book and be inspired as a parent or a caring adult doing your part to make the world better by positively impacting the life of a child. So, this post could be titled: Wholesome Mentoring: Is It Worth It? You tell me…


Posted in African American Families, African American Men, Black Dads, Black Fathers, Dads, Education, Family, Mentorship, Rants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »