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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Raising Black Boys to Men: A Mother’s Guide to Raising Thugless Sons is a motivational self-help guide to parenting written by Patricia Joseph. Joseph and her four brothers were raised by her widowed mother, and much of the author’s inspiration is taken from her mother’s example. Joseph and her husband have raised three sons, who are now responsible and successful adults. In her introduction, Joseph quotes alarming statistics with reference to young Black males, and she argues that, with the proper parenting, many of these tragedies need not occur. Her strategies begin virtually from birth. She raised her children to see her nurturing side as well as her strength. When they began to seem to ignore her or not acknowledge her authority, her husband took over. Joseph instilled responsibility from an early age and assigned chores and jobs to each child as they grew. She helped them open bank accounts and inspired them to become entrepreneurs to teach them how to manage money, and she trained them to be respectful of women. Joseph includes several appendices to this book, one of which has a number of recommended readings.
Patricia Joseph’s motivational self-help guide to parenting, Raising Black Boys to Men: A Mother’s Guide to Raising Thugless Sons, comes at a crucially important time in our culture. Young Black men are far more likely to be harassed by those in authority and blamed for crimes, whether they are at fault or not. The toll on families and parents is stunning, and the premature death of each person is a loss for all. While I am neither Black, nor a parent, I was motivated to read this book because I am so concerned by the most recent deaths of young Blacks and the questionable decisions made by the Grand Juries in each case. While everyone acknowledges the unfairness and illegality of racial profiling, it is still very much a reality. Mothers have a huge responsibility to raise children who can help turn the statistics around, and, if approached by authority figures, are fully cognizant of the dangers facing them and know how to minimize them. Joseph speaks passionately and with the authority of a concerned and caring mother. While I have a very different take on corporal punishment, I have a lot of respect for the advice and wisdom imparted by this author. Raising Black Boys to Men: A Mother’s Guide to Raising Thugless Sons is highly recommended.