Wednesday, June 29th, 2005 at 6:05 pm by EbonyMom
Having a son has really opened my eyes to just how different boys really are. I always assumed that gender roles were primarily a function of how children are socialized- but boy was I surprised that boys do have male tendencies even before anyone tells them what those tendencies are. A vital aspect to being a black male in such a anti-black society is strength in knowledge of oneself through knowing your history and ancestry.
This weekend I had the honor of attending an important event in my family- and seeing the strength of relationships of men in my family for the first time. After reading The Warrior Method I really feel that what is missing in so many aspects of American life is that men have no rites of passage to become men. This is a cultural norm in most places in the world and is such a strengthening and defining process that without it we tend to wind up with more aimless young men who have no idea of who or what they are.
Several men in my family have assigned their own sort of rites of passage to their sons. Watching my uncle and his son who is about to be a senior in high school was very touching. To see the father guiding his son- teaching him detailed aspects about driving, telling him the proper way to act in different situations, but most importantly the way my cousin responded to his father which such intensity and honor. You could see himm striving to be a man with all of his being. It reminded me of both my father’s relationship with my brother as well as the many young men he’s mentored through the years in his role as a minister. Young boys who had been given up on as being unteachable or unsaveable have made a rapid turn around upon having a black man to listen to them, pray with them and provide strength and guidance.
One of the greatest lies that has been repeatedly perpetuataed in our community is that black women don’t need anyone but themselves. Though I love black mothers (I’m one myself) and feel that we are some of the strongest, hard working, most enduring people on the planet- no matter how hard I work, am educated, or endure as a black woman the one thing I can not do is to 100% teach my sons how to be a black man. This makes me worry for the black males in this country because the vast majority have no fathers or positive black male role models in their lives.
We are planning to implement a sort of Warrior Method rites of passage with our own sons. I do have faith that my husband will provide guidance to our boys. But I also know how important it is for our sons as well as any other children we may be blessed to have (or adopt) to know their history and the Warrior Method provides a wealth of resources to guide in the educational process.
You can read more about the implentation of the Warrior Method at the Warrior Institute website.