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Karsonya Wise Whitehead

Letters to My Black Sons

«I want you to be fully present in your own life, a change agent who is not afraid to dare to be who you are. I wonder though, my dear sweet child, how I can mother you when I have not been able to mother myself? How can I give you the tools to survive this brutal world when I have not been able to craft these tools to save myself? How can I stand up for you when my whole life has been spent trying so hard to stand up for myself? I am not perfect. I am flawed. I am pregnant. And in nine months, I will be your mother. And so begins Karsonya Wise Whitehead's first letter to her oldest son. For the past 14 years, she has written letters, poems, notes, and words of inspiration to her two boys, Kofi Elijah and Amir Elisha. She has documented everything from their first steps to their first encounter with racism; from their questions about race to their questions about falling in love. She has borne witness to their tears of joy and pain, their cries of frustration and discovery, and the difficulties that they have encountered growing up black and male. This is her love for them poured out onto the page, a document that traces her (and her husband's) journey to try and raise happy and healthy black boys in a post-racial America.
135 printed pages
Original publication
2015

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