Raising a Black Man…off to College He Goes

Two days ago, my son got on a plane to head back to his Pop’s house to finish backing and to head off to college. I cried like a baby. When that boy was born 18 years ago after 4 days of labor, if someone would have told me that one day I would be shipping him off to college, I might have chuckled and said…um, ok. After all, I was a 19 year old high school dropout when he was born. Hell, not only was I a dropout but I was living on government assistance at the time since me and my first husband were young and dumb and didn’t have two nickels to rub together.

This is an emotional and weepy Mama piece, as my Pops told me the other day “Mama, you done good.” I suppose if you are white and reading this you may be wondering what is the big deal? But for a young Black boy and make no mistake, oh he is half white but in these Fractured States of America even in 2010, being a half white dude doesn’t count for much. Unless you are a passable shade of white as far as your skin color…well you are Black.

For a young Black man to get to 18 with a good head on his shoulders and not be headed off to prison or be in route to being a Baby Daddy is sadly not as common as I would like it to be, therefore every time I know of any young brotha headed to college or graduating, I rejoice.

See, raising a Black boy to age 18 and seeing him go off to college takes a lot, it takes a fucking village, some prayer and some luck. Truth is it ain’t much better raising our girls either, since I got friends dealing with major issues and heartbreaks with their daughters who are the same age as my son.

Nope, I looked at my son the other morning as we went on a long walk before he left and realized he is indeed a young man, no longer a baby but he will always be my baby.

So excuse me while I take a few days off as I gather my composure since as parents we spend so much time dealing with the day, its a strange feeling to see them make that transition to adulthood.

8 thoughts on “Raising a Black Man…off to College He Goes

  1. I am white and an Aussie not an American. However, to release ones child into the world knowing they are on a positive road is indeed cause for celebration and congrats. So…congratulations from down-under. My son is only 14 and I live in hope!
    cheers Leesa

  2. Interesting read. As the mother of a biracial baby I can relate to knowing that unless she is “passable” as white, in America she will be seen as “only” black. My daughter is only 6 months old and I already worry about how she will relate to both her white and black peers and how she may be judged. I enjoyed reading your perspective.

    I’m gonna dive into your blog. Very interested to read more. Originally from Massachusetts and spent a lot of time in Maine (although now in Phoenix). My husband (who contributed the black half to our family ;-)) HATES visiting my family in Maine. He always calls himself the only black man in Maine.

  3. Congratulations on a job well done!

    My son is 26, bi-racial and he works in law enforcement, he was a good kid also. It would appear that you have an involved ex. husband and good extended family support. Now, you can take this time anf focus more on your passion.

  4. Hey sis.. job well done! He’s a good man, and will do great things! Funny how time has flown by.. Mom and Granny are toasting ya! One down one to go! Dont worry for Queen Marilyn II aka your daughter, me and some of the Brotherhood already got the shotgun for her first bf lol

  5. @ Nizm

    Shotgun won’t be necessary unless first boyfriend does wrong, and I’ll likely beat you to the punch…LOL

    For making sure he behaves (and any who follow him), I plan to simply have my first meeting/talk with BFs in a room with baseball bats and swords openly displayed…and perhaps a shovel and plastic tarp in one corner.

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