Raising Black Boys With Laughter

Abel: "Mom, can we go Ding-Dong Ditching?"

"Uh yea, only if you want to get shot"

We now join this white mom of black boys at a crucial teaching moment. 

I continue..."Abel, you are a black 12 year old boy, you run up in the night and ring someone's door bell then run off, you're likely to get shot."

Evangeline: "Especially in Prairieville."

Steele chimes in..."Didn't you say we can't live in Florida either cuz' they shoot black boys there?"

 Me: "Yes."

"But I'm not black, I'm white AND black." Steele insist.

"Your'e black to the people who would shoot you. Look at President Obama, he's your color but he's considered black."


Kids ask Evangeline if she's baby sitting when she's with her brothers, Dean get's asked if he's married to a black lady when he's with Steele, I go to the school to get Abel and kids ask, "that's your mom?" in disbelief. We are used to it and most of the time don't notice whether people do or don't react to our family.  But some issues have to be addressed realistically.

Like if and when they could possibly be shot just for being a black boy.

I'm not an expert on being a black boy, I try hard to educate myself so I can parent my boys properly. I get it wrong, fail, just like every mother, but I do try.

Race isn't all of who we are, but it is a part and it is the first thing others see. To deny it, step around it, treat it as if we are all "colored blind" to me is foolish. My son's are beautiful little black men who are the future.

In our home the greatest lesson I try to teach them is they are no better than anyone else, they are not too good to clean toilets, wipe butts, wear Goodwill shoes. And equally, they are not beneath anyone. The guy driving the BMW, living in the big house craps and breaths just like they do. Never let anyone make you feel anything but equal.

So I'm thankful for the people in this world that help this mother teach her boys what it means to be a black boy with humor. I allow my boys to watch the Key and Peele show because Key and Peele is perfect satire. They make fun of how white people see black people. They also make fun of how black people see white people. They make fun equally. I know I may catch flack for this but I love that balance. Mostly I love that some real issues are looked at with laughter.

Somewhere along the line, we’ve forgotten the true purpose of humor: to help people cope with the fears and horrors of the world. 

I also let the boys watch this video by Christ Rock. It has bad language, it's making fun and exaggerated, but it's a whole lot of truth too.

I pray that Steele and Abel grow up laughing at the world, making the world laugh with them all while changing it and making it a better place.


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