I am a father, stepfather; grandfather, brother, uncle, great uncle, nephew, cousin and friend. I am an African American male living in America who has been blessed to see age fifty-eight but not because I grew up in a strong family environment. For ten years, I was fortunate enough to have a set of terrific, grandparents. God chose to call them home when I was ten-years old. From then on, I was more-or-less on my own. Handed off like a football from one family member to the next until I were in my early teens.
There is a humongous difference between living with a family and living with a loving family. After my grandparent’s death, my first understanding of a non-loving family came when I was forced to live with my mother, her boyfriend and four of my siblings. That lasted about three years. My mother’s boyfriend was an abuser. While my brother and three sisters were willing to look the other way, I was not, so I was handed off to my grandmother on my mother’s side.
The story and the madness continued for years to come, until I was old enough to join Job Corps and then the Army. For a longtime after that, life “cut me little or no slack” and the streets raised me. I was able to survive and reach the point I am today, thanks to the love and caring of mostly strangers, along the way. I sincerely believe if I were a teenager today I would not make it to twenty-eight and surely not fifty-eight.
This book is about lifting spirits, changing and saving lives of today and tomorrow’s young people.
When I was growing up neighbors, teachers, the community police officers and the judicial systems were not about just doing a job but they cared about children overall. It is not just a saying that, “It Takes A Community To Raise A Child.” It is the TRUTH and it is more IMPORTANT today than it has ever been. The obstacles standing in young people’s way today is almost insurmountable. We must stop caring about what side of town, skin color, race or nationality, country, county or city and start caring that it is all children that need our help.
Oftentimes even with parents, the road to survival and success is a difficult one for young people. Surviving without parents, or dedicated parents is next to impossible but I am here to tell you, it is not impossible. I would not want any young person to live my young life, if it is at all avoidable.
Parents, teachers, neighbors, friends, police officers and communities, what I am saying is this, if you have children do what you must to standby them and keep them on the right track. Try to see that they have a better life growing up, than you had. No matter if, your childhood was terrific. Show them love, respect and give them lots of support.
There is nothing sadder or more discouraging for a child than having parents who are nothing more than “figure heads,” or “parents who only give birth.
I can attest to the fact that if parents are not good to and for you, you have the tendency not to be good for and to your children. It took me a while and many trials and tribulations before I came to understand and appreciate what it means to be a father and grandfather. Like any human being, I am still lacking in some areas but I am quickly improving.
What I know for sure, unless all men, but especially African American men do not step-up and give women a much needed hand raising our children we will be facing self-destruction akin to genocide, in the very near future.
Some may think my last statement is perhaps “overstated” but I assure you there is not a lot of “grey area” between “self-destruction” and “genocide.”
TODAY’S CHALLENGE QUESTION FOR TPL MEN:
Just how long should a man pursue a reluctant woman? And how long would YOU pursue a woman that is avoiding you; yet you know she is the one for you?
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
Put yourself in A. J.’s situation (or maybe you’ve been in that situation) and leave your response to today’s challenge question at author’s Lounge Space Comment Area at:
All responses will be judged by award winning writer, LaConnie Taylor-Jones!
* $25 Visa Gift Card
* $25 Amazon.com Gift Card
* 1 (24 x 36) Biggy Pix Poster of your favorite book cover art, photo, etc
Today’s contest challenge question ends today, Friday, August 15, 2008 at 11:59 PST
WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US
by: David W. Johnson, Jr.
Anybody can just run his or her mouths about anything
We are facing a major crises and talking will not resolve it
Children dying like flies while we set around doing nothing
To saving our children, adults it is time we start to commit
Always talking about what God is doing for you and yours
Just how many of you out there are trying to return the favor
Does it bother you, all the pain and suffering others endures
We will not even take the time to check on an elderly neighbor
God’s intent was not to always wait on Him for something
He gave us a brain and He is always showing us the way
God, children, and the elderly we seem to be abandoning
We better forget about always fornicating and start to pray
Right now, the devil is having a “field day” with our lives
Males making babies and disappearing before their birth
Our teenage girls stabbing other teenage girls with knives
Adults had better start teaching children about their self worth
For children to know right from wrong someone must teach
Stop setting by while children, sell drugs, kill and play games
Today’s Christians are not listening to what Pastors Preach
After church, still drinking and calling one another dirty names
Remember the great saying, “We Must Lead By Example”
Adults examples today, leads children to graves and prisons
Thanks to our neglect, in the streets children are being trample
Adults, not a lot of time left for us, to make positive decisions
African Americans seems to be ignoring their own destruction
Adults, following God’s message, in children we must instill trust
In our children lives it is way past time for some reconstruction
Adults, do more than talk about, “What God Has Done For Us”
LET THEM KILL ONE ANOTHER
by: David W. Johnson, Jr.
Why should our enemies care if we rob and kill one another
If we destroy one another, it saves them from having to do it
African Americans, wakeup before this madness goes any farther
Mothers, teach your daughters they have something more than a slit
We must start to work together if our children are to have any future
The younger generation these days sees no reason to get an education
For too many African Americans children education is just conjecture
If children are to have a future, adults must began building a foundation
Brothers and Sisters, we are putting our children in graves and prisons
Yes, our children are joining gangs and dropping out of schools is true
Not children but adult’s neglect is burdening them with cruel afflictions
Think about it adults, without proper guidance what are children to do
If a son has been neglect by his father, chances are he will do the same
If a daughter sees her mother sleeping with man after man, she follows
Children form the opinion that having a mate in their lives is just a game
For some, destruction of African Americans is an easy pill to swallow
Senator Obama said, African American Men should step-up and be MEN
Instead of getting upset with what he said, we best start paying full attention
African American Women, start looking for Men on whom you can depend
You need someone to help, not someone to cause you unnecessary tension
A dead or imprison child is proof that, “you can do bad all by yourself”
If children had, two Parents and more Mentors things would be different
It is very difficult for a Mother or Father to raise a child by him or herself
REAL Men just do not impregnate Women then become totally indifferent
A lack of education, bullets and drugs are destroying African Americans
Smarten up and becoming more responsible will help us go a lot farther
If not, in a few years we will be off to prisons and graves by the caravans
You remember this, our enemies are saying, “Let Them Kill One Another”
In today’s society, together we could achieve great progress
Far greater lives for our children and ourselves we can build
Instead, we seem to enjoy failures much more than success
Dr. King wanted us to have dreams and see them fulfilled
There is absolutely no gratification for us robbing and raping
Elderly person getting off a bus, we snatch their pocketbook
Time we stop destroying our communities and start reshaping
The destructive things we are doing we best take a good look
There were those times when others, were our worse enemies
These days we are dong more to destroy ourselves than anyone
We find more pleasure in prison numbers than college degrees
Shooting, robbing, selling drugs, molesting children like its fun
In wars, enemies destroy one another but we destroy ourselves
So-called men getting two and three women pregnant at a time
Then they ignore the babies as though they were dolls on shelves
Calling themselves men when they are no more than filthy slime
Sad thing about it, those of us in position to change things are not
Sure, they complain and blame but they will not do anything to help
Adults, we would not have made it without help or have you forgot
Face facts, children has always needed adults along with self-help
Our adults today are good at talking about doing but very slow to act
School systems, churches, after school programs could all use support
Americans are becoming disappointments to their children that is a fact
Due to those disappointment too many children thinking killing is a sport
Adults we must spend less time ignoring the problems and work on solutions
We all know the key to success has never been crime but a good education
Just like Dr. King, working together we could all bring about some resolutions
Senator Barack Obama will give America a chance at, “Unity Not Separation”
HOW LONG WILL WE BE PATHETIC
by: David W. Johnson, Jr.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to say I am proud of African Americans
Horrible way we allow our children and ourselves to be destroyed is crazy
To the rest of society we are becoming no more than a Race of comedians
Instead of encouraging children to get their education, we let them be lazy
If we see a way to make a dollar off our children’s behavior, we jump at it
To come out into the communities for free, no thanks, bars or slot machines
Lazy, fat, sorry adults are the reasons our young children on success, has quit
Caring people riding in the streets of inner-cities are truly sicken by the scenes
Adults have forgotten the use of the English language, just using curse words
As a result, fourth and fifth graders are going to schools, cursing out teachers
You see more caring of their little ones coming from rabbits, lions and birds
Today there are con-games being played on congregations by fake preachers
Many of us can see clearly that African Americans are headed for destruction
When we reach out to the media, politicians, leaders or churches it is to no avail
Reason, they benefit from the African-American communities’ self-destruction
America will not be happy until we are dead, disable, in prison or jail with no bail
Parents, be assured if we do not help our children out, police will take them out
Take time from whiskey glasses, down off of slot stools and Save Our Children
We might try and blame others but this situation is all adults fault without a doubt
If caring adults had not looked out for you, imagine where you would have been
Fast cars, foul rap-music, pregnant teens, and pants hanging off, represents nothing
Learning to own your own business, a College Degree and self-respect represents all
Males making baby after baby and each one they are immediately abandoning
Adults are the only ones that can help children see they are headed for a downfall
Brothers and Sisters, stop being the “N-Word” and become MEN & WOMEN
Stop going around, seeing these little children and not be caring and sympathetic
Brothers, Women and Children are losing Good Men on whom they can depend
When you finish reading this just ask yourself, “How Long Will We Be Pathetic?”
And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
... I went to sleep, praying and hoping that Katrina wouldn't make landfall on New Orleans... I could not believe how enormous the storm was... it seemed to be as large as the entire Gulf of Mexico... Wil Derksen, San Jose, CA
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