11.05.2009

Part 6 of Black Women in America Raising Boys : "Nothing New But Definitely No Easy Task"

By Alicia Jackson

When I was first approached about being a part of this documentary, I was somewhat surprised.

My mindset was that what I was doing was a common thing so surely it did not warrant much discussion, let alone a full documentary. I quickly found out that even though it was a common thing, the world deserved to hear , first hand, a single mother's story.

I have two boys and two girls, Since they are twins, I have one of each for two different age brackets so I get the best of both worlds at all times. Rearing them from birth to early adolescence was easy. Just provide food, clothing and shelter right? WRONG ! I also had to provide character foundation, values / morals and education (formal and informal). Every day I have the opportunity to see the vast differences in the needs and demands of raising girls and those of raising boys.

I have now begun my uphill battle to turn my boys into young men. I know I must incorporate all my resources because this journey can not be fully successful if I go it alone. I know most may argue my next point but I know I can not teach my boys how to be MEN. I can give them everything in me to make them productive, respectful, law abiding, God fearing members of society. I can wipe their tears and comfort them when they are missing their father.

I can provide them with most things that are essential to living but I can not give them the MAN THING because I do not have it. Therefore, unlike many of my counterparts, I will ask for help. I am blessed to have positive male role models who I can call on to assist me in making my BOYS journey to MANHOOD a smooth and successful one. But what about the sister who doesn't ?

I am happy to have had the opportunity to share my story. I am looking forward to helping the world better understand the mind of single mothers and our struggle. It is a struggle indeed.

Photo of Alicia Jackson by Hannibal Muhammad