As a public activist, I am often contacted to offer my advice on a number of issues both private and public. I really enjoy being an activist when I received a call from a parent seeking to secure my counsel and insights on parenting ideas, especially when the focus is their sons.
Tragically in our nation and certainly this region, the image of Black youth, especially our males, is very negative. There are a number of reasons for this unfortunate narrative of Black youth. Many of the reasons have historical roots; others are just nasty ugly stereotypes.
One of the assets of living in Birmingham is our superb parks — we are truly a walkable community. I often exploit the tranquil parks of our hamlet whenever I meet and counsel folks, especially wayward Black boys under duress .
When we walk together I ask them to bring a pocket size mirror as part of our walking gear. During our trek we talk, talk, talk and then we engaged in more talk. Often at the end of our hike in the park I ask them to pull out the mirror.
I then instructed them to look at the mirror and spend a whole 60 seconds an entire minute on the most important, significant, wonderful, awesome, sweet, gentle, good, beautiful, interesting, brillant, unforgettable, remarkable and the greatest living creation in the world.
The wonder of discovery is awesome...