Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Posts Tagged ‘rites of passage for african american boys’

A Positive Rites of Passage Program for Boys is about Love

Posted by Thomas on February 14, 2012

This post has 689 words and will take you less than 10 minutes to read.

A rites of passage program for boys is about love: love for the boy, love for women, love for the community, and love for the world. If you consider it, the rites of passage concept is based on relationships, and all relationships of substance are predicated on love. Thus, when love runs its course, everything it touches is made infinitely better. The training elements that make up a rites of passage program are no different.

Boys are taught through the rites of passage program how to embrace responsible male adulthood. The organic program you design for your son teaches him to embrace—instead of fear—the role of a responsible man in society. The way he is able to accomplish this is partly founded in love. The four (4) rites of passage program components I write about in the free eBook A Rites of Passage Framework namely: The Lessons, The Quest, The Ceremony, and The Ascension Dinner, all have elements that teach the young man how to develop love for; himself, women, his community, and the world.

Developing love for himself is accomplished in part by Lesson Nine: “What’s Happening to Me?” as outlined in the book. The young man learns age appropriate psychosocial and psychosexual topics about sex, love, commitment, and physical body changes. He learns to lovingly accept the changes in his body and that they are not wrong or bad. His virility and testosterone driven thoughts and behaviors are designed into the human body. The lesson helps him understand this, accept it, and learn self-control. When the young man can love and accept himself, he can love and accept the women in his life.

The third lesson “What is Womanhood”, explores the developing and nurturing love and respect for women which is pivotal in the boys’ rites of passage program and ceremony. The sinew that stitches together the quilted fabric of our society in large part rests on the dynamics between men and women. This lesson focuses the young man to deal with the question of womanhood. It challenges his thoughts by asking him to interview older respected women in his life. By doing so, he’s awarded a first-hand account of where his internal thoughts and the general worldview about women are skewed. Armed with this fresh reality connectedness deepens for the opposite sex. When boys are groomed to love and respect women, it naturally leads to the next area love offers in the rites of passage program for boys—love for the community.

It is difficult to destroy or hurt something we love.

And that is the principle lived, when we successfully bind our boys to their community—when they love it they will care for and not destroy it. Lesson Thirteen: “Giving Back through Community Service” is one way to connect the young man with his immediate environment through volunteerism. Once this bond is created because of love, the young man is prone to care for and not do harm to his community.

When love for self, love for women, and love for the community have their way in the boy’s life as he transitions from adolescence to manhood, our world as a whole benefits. A positive rites of passage program—or put another way—rites of passage training for boys, fills the world with love because a responsible adult male enters productively into society at large. The world is loved because the boy (now man) is a loving, responsible, compassionate and upstanding contributing member of his community.

Loving himself with his quirks, flaws and idiosyncrasies prepares him to love the women in his life. His respect for them in general nets love and respect in particular with his wife if he marries. A healthy home lends itself easily to a healthy community. And healthy communities fill the world at large with the loving output of a purposeful and intentional rites of passage program for young boys.

On this Valentine’s Day, expand your concept of love. Embrace your son or young man in your life with the love found in a rites of passage program. Change our world with love by doing so.



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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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