Before my son was born I talked to him, read to him and sometimes even sang to him. Now that he’s here, we have full fledged conversations, music time and a goal to read at least two books a day. We read all kinds of books. Some stories feature animals, shapes, kids, historical figures or just letters. Other books are just pictures and we make up our own stories.
In late 2017, I looked through our library to find a specific book featuring a young Black boy. I have heard the stories told with a variety of other characters, but this was missing for me. I decided to look on-line to see if I could find this type of book and to my surprise, I couldn’t find it. So, I did what I am known to do. I took matters into my own hands and I wrote our own story.
While writing “Black Boy Joy” I realized that there was more to it for me. In a world where raising a young Black male can be difficult due to stereotypes placed on Black boys, I want him and those he encounters to know he can be anything he wants to be. I want my son to have the chance to be a kid and do kid things while remaining safe in his community. I want that for my son and for yours.
The action I can take towards solving that problem is to saturate the media, our homes, schools and communities with positive images of our boys. Join me on my journey of raising my black boy joy in today’s society. I hope to make this a safe place to establish common ground and celebrate our differences with the ultimate goal to look out for all of our kids. It takes a village and I’m thankful to have you a part of ours. ~Charlitta C. Hatch