We see so often the image that is painted of the young black man in the news. Most of the stories tend to lean towards one narrative, the local neighborhood thug who sells drugs and poses with his gun. Being a delinquent, basically. The one who "deserved" to be gunned down, beaten, or locked behind bars. These hard images are what we have seen remain consistent when people of color, especially men, are represented on our TVs. I would say it wasn't until President Obama took office that you could turn on the TV and truly see a man of color holding the highest honor in the country, every single day. That could not be filtered. The most they could do is try to paint a tainted image of how he governed and ran the country but even that, he gave them little to no negativity to work with. We have to understand how powerful that is.
Growing up my mom did a great job to ensure that I saw excellent models in the women that were around me. This doesn't mean that I didn't see women I didn't want to be, because I did. But what held weight is the fact that I knew who I was and what I wanted to be. It was the knowledge and morals that she instilled in me that made me know what I wanted for myself verse what I didn't. Who did I want to become?
The Other Wes Moore | One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore, did not solely lay out the good verses the bad for me but it also clearly showed me that as an individual you have a choice. Your choices are real. The decisions you make in life that lead you down certain paths are real and impactful. We should all realize how imperative they are and take heed. As per usual, I don't want to give away the story too much but it's quite self explanatory based on the title. You can clearly grasp that one boy had very negative outcome in life and the other overcame his obstacles. For me the story was wonderful. It was relatable. I have family members that may never see the outside world for the rest of their lives. It's sad but this is the reality for so many young black men. What I wanted to see more of in the story was the why? We saw the story but we didn't get to know the why. I mean, it was there for you to draw your own conclusion and I guess I've done that but I would've loved to hear more from the Wes Moore behind bars. What has he learned from the events in his life? Has he learned anything? This wasn't his first time in jail but it certainly will be his last because he will be there for the rest of his life.
What I loved more than anything is that this book concluded with a call to action. I think this is so important because this is how we will break the cycle. We can sit on instagram, facebook, or twitter and rant for as long as we want whenever one of our brothers or sisters are murdered or wrongfully convicted but it's what we do after the hype has passed. How often are we having the conversations? What are we planning and putting in place to ensure that 5 years, down the line we've actually improved? After the call to action the book includes a list of resources. They are Foundations, Organizations, Non-Profits, etc that are established and set in place to aid in the lives of minorities, particularly black men, women, and children. I think Moore did an excellent job with this book. If you've read it please share your thoughts; if not, I highly recommend that you go grab a copy. It's raw, it's real, and it's the reality for so many.
Thanks for always stopping to see what I have to say :)
I'll keep the reviews coming more often.
xo the LBW.