September 25, 2019

The challenges I believe my son will face growing up in today’s society are scary and tough, but it’s my job to prepare him and guide him down the right path. I grew up without my father, but I had some influential men come into my life at different stages who helped me. They’ve made me a better father and have given me a blueprint on how I need to raise my son in a world of hard realities.

Police brutality against young black men is one of the issues facing my son that scares me most.

We as African American males are easy targets just because of how we look. We are judged or stereotyped based on where we live and come from. Black boys and men -- unarmed black boys and men --  are more likely to be killed by police than any other group of people. The tragedies and headlines are constant. I get nervous when I see a police officer drive behind me when I’m in the car.

It’s my job to be a positive role model in my son’s life. Everything that I’ve been through and experienced or learned, in some kind of way I’ll pass on to him. There are a lot of young black men out there right now experiencing the challenges we face, simply because of our race, without a male figure in their life to guide them.

What I’m going to teach my son is:

  • Nothing in life is fair. But it’s about how you deal with the unfair. Keep God first and work hard in everything you do. Nothing in life worth having comes easy.
  • Being black you have to work ten times harder.
  • Sometimes it’s not about what you know, but who you know. Treat people with respect and stay connected.
  • One thing no one can take away from you is an education. Educate yourself.

You can try to avoid challenges and you’ll never know when you’ll have to deal with them, but when they do occur, the way you’ve prepared and how you respond can be the difference of life or death!

Professional basketball player overseas

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