Sunday, May 20, 2007
Finding Ways to Better School African American Boys - Washington Post
I just drove a black male classmate of my sixteen year-old daughter to his home, after he and my girl worked together on a class project, under the watchful eye of her mother. Our not-so-baby-girl has not earnestly begun dating, so this boy captured my yet-to-be-throttled interest.
He is in the process of transferring to a better school, in academics and sports, so we had something else to talk about, aside from any hidden hormone-driven agenda I might ferret out, accidentally (of course). The fact that the boy was damn handsome, in a geeky sort of way, did not help his case one bit.
Not too surprising to me, I liked the boy. He is smart, serious and funny, respectful, proud, and best of all, he wants to make something out of himself. Now clearly, he was putting on a show for me, but damn if he did not put a very good display of what success in a young black male might present, 3.6 GPA and all.
This boy was so impressive that I introduced the subject of my son, age 12, and some of his growing pains, firmly planted in my backside. Again, the kid stepped up. He gave me some advice, base on his own experience, which I will surely try to utilize on my son.
All this is to say that meeting this kid gave me optimism that I have not felt for a long time regarding what will become of black boys-to-men in this country. He is just one kid, and certainly he is lucky to have parents who care greatly for his well-being. However, I parted with him thinking that this kid will succeed in life, and just maybe my daughter will be fortunate to fall in love with someone like him, when they are ready.
James C. Collier
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