When you turn off the morning news you free up so much time to do other things like not be traumatized by video violence. @cbsnews I really didn’t need to see or hear the video from the #uvalde elementary school. I suspected it existed because I knew the system had used funds to fund the school police and their security system, but the reality is so much worse than my imagination. To the parents of those children and relatives of the teachers, my heart is breaking for you for the failure of the community to protect them. We have to do better.
So I turned to Spotify to listen to the latest episodes of one of my favorite podcasts by Demetria L. Lucas, my mentor from afar.
I follow her on Instagram and her wellness journey. I say she has influenced me in my own efforts to promote and expand my podcast and my blog. Her move to Ghana is so extraordinary and so bold to me that I am thinking about how I am going to repeat it. Hmm, taking some of this stuff with me, and moving the rest into storage and subletting my house out for 3-7-12 years until the US resets or half of the supreme court retires or resign is a distinct possibility. But I digress…
Her special guest, Will Jawando, is running for re-election to Prince George County Council, and his new book, My Seven Black Fathers, is a surprising and rare book written about vulnerability and hope in a time when Black men and people in general, thus my desire to leave the country, are stigmatized. He tells the story of his Nigerian father-absent presence for most of his life with an additional estrangement from his Nigerian heritage. And other positive mentors like his step-father from whom he learned the capacity to love and another unicorn, his only Black male grade school teacher, who not only gave him and showed him how to tie his tie but also was a strong presence in his life. I did not know Black male teachers made up only 2% of the population. I distinctly remember Mr. Barcliff my grade school math teacher, with patience and understanding he taught me how to round numbers, stumping 2 generations of women in my family. Or Mr. Fuller, a US History teacher, brittle and no-nonsense, but still I really took an interest in history from him.
He tells the story of more famous mentors, like Barack Obama, who while Forever POTUS served as a then-state senator, he stalked him daily for 6 months until he landed a position in the Senate office and then in the White House.
With the recent loss of my father and my own complicated relationship with him, I have a feeling this book will be a comfort to me as I work through the feelings and I think will be a blueprint for change for the living. Grateful to the author @willjawando for writing and sharing his life and for @demetriallucas for having the author on her show!