I recently read Thank You Ma’am, a short story by one of my favorite writers, Langston Hughes, with my students and saw it with fresh eyes. If you are unfamiliar with the story, I highly recommend it. It is a short read. Read it. Or listen to it. For time’s sake, let me boil it down this way: Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones was walking on a dark street one night headed home. A young boy, Roger, attempts to rob her. However, the “large woman with a large purse” proved to be more of match for Roger than he expected. He falls trying to snatch the purse, and Mrs. Jones proceeds to put him in … [Read more...]
I used to be against the death penalty until I sat through my first and only PTA meeting. That was where I was exposed to a nearly fatal dose of superstar parenting. Maybe the electric chair for these walking migraine triggers is a bit harsh. They should at least be quarantined, as a public health measure. This night of the jackals begins with a sharp elbow to my ribs. "Excuse me!" a jittery house frau screeches. She rushes by me in the library where the PTA meeting is being held and grabs a seat next to someone she knows. My daughter's teacher, Rinat, launches into her presentation … [Read more...]
Does being “for” something automatically define you as being “against” something else? Can we celebrate and work toward a win for one group without having to subsequently celebrate another’s loss or misfortune? I regularly face these questions because I run a podcast and platform called, Black Fathers, NOW! When the conversation comes up regarding my podcast, especially outside of the black community, typically one of two things happens. Sometimes I gain immediate buy in and support for taking this initiative to try to change the public perception of black fatherhood as it tends to be … [Read more...]
One of the many universal struggles we parents go through with our kids is getting them to eat diverse and healthy meals. Life, after all, has more and better things to offer than just chicken nuggets and boxed mac and cheese.
Help is here for many moms and dads with the arrival of The Adventurous Eaters Club: Mastering the Art of Family Mealtime, a new family cookbook by actor Misha Collins of TV's Supernatural and his wife, Vicki.
The book, available starting today, tells the Collins' story of struggling to get their firstborn … [Read more...]
Broadly speaking, it's good we teach kids a few basics of safety. Not every parent is equipped to responsibly handle potentially dangerous situations. So we create very general guidelines that apply to most. That's cool. And kids should be learning about things like unwanted touches from others. Though there was a discussion at the preschool drop-off about getting everybody onboard with using the same body part names as used in the school lessons. But we all handle these things a little differently. However, when the school sent home the "Never-Never Rules" that they'll be studying soon … [Read more...]