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Black Boys Can Jump…Doesn’t Mean They Have To

“Black Boys Can Jump…Doesn’t Mean They Have To”

By: Keonte’ from Mommy 2K (

A quick stroll through the house takes you down memory lane — at least down Kaden’s lane. Pictures of him posing for soccer, t-ball, and basketball are all spaced evenly on the refrigerator door. In my head, I mentally add up all the costs over the years; uniforms, registration fees, photography, equipment, and gas to name a few (dedication and sacrifice are a little tricky to calculate). Still, I somehow convince myself each penny is well spent. Kaden is a wonderful athlete, has created lasting friendships with his teammates, and most importantly, enjoys playing sports.

Plastered on his bedroom door are more pictures documenting his sporting adventures. It’s like a gallery of growth on display for each visitor that passes by. He has gone from a tiny toddler who was clueless about which base to run toward in t-ball, to a tween who understands the only crying in baseball is done in the privacy of a car. I can’t believe how far he’s come, we’ve come, and how much time our family spends on the field and court.

Take Monday, for instance. The entire family had just returned from soccer practice. Our frozen hands welcomed the warm house as each one of us stepped through the doorway in a single-file line.  Even with the blessing of extra sunlight and promise of Spring near,  the entire family is beat. Soccer has consumed most of our lives in just two short weeks, changing several aspects of our daily schedule. The aroma of a home cooked meal has been replaced by the freshly-baked bread at Subway. And a pile of grease-stricken carry out menus has become my new go-to-guide for recipes. If you listen closely, you may hear the family chanting in unison, “We want food! We want food!

US Navy Angels

But, we embrace it all. It’s not all about the present. Everything taking place in our lives today builds on the road for tomorrow…whatever tomorrow may be.

Kaden has expressed an interest in a career as an pilot. He has purchased books, and checks them out at the school’s library, relating to this topic. I rented him a documentary titled, “The Magic of Flight: IMAX”, depicting the training of the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels. We’re just under 30 minutes outside of Annapolis, home of the Navy, so his interest peeked as he watched on. To know that his dream is so attainable — when you factor in his intelligence, determination, and passion — gives me hope about the future.

There is nothing wrong with being an actor or athlete, or having your name in lights. There is also nothing wrong with being something other than an actor or athlete. Kaden has proven he can jump, shoot a ball, dribble through his opponents, and even kick a ball into the goal of a soccer net. He is also great at math, loves to read, and plays the double bass. I just know the biggest jump, leap, hop he’ll ever take will have something to do with faith. Faith that he will be soaring in the skies, not just to pilot his own plane. He will also be commanding his future.

Yes, black boys can jump. That doesn’t mean they have to.

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2 Comments to “Black Boys Can Jump…Doesn’t Mean They Have To”

  • keyshia July 20, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    bullying should not be allowed

  • AmericanRebel May 23, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    My question to you is this… Why in the blue blazes does it have to be this attitude with us as African-Americans that somehow that we have to ration the professions that our children engage in as if they can and it is treated and viewed as a positive if they engage in one but a horrible negative if they select another when both professions if advocated by the parent and taken an interest by the child are both honorable and legal?

    I am an uncle to eight nieces and nephews and I love them all dearly and for the record I would like to state that I personally could care less what they elect to do professionally as long as what they select is something honorable,upstanding,honest and legal and something unto which they are intrigued,fascinated by,think that they can be good as in ultimately successful at,love and enjoy doing and feel that what they are doing is an avenue to provide them and their families someday,{if the choice is made by them to have one} with the absolute best life possible that can be lived and led by them and no one else.

    Furthermore,the reason that I possess and hold the attitude and view on this subject that I do is precisely because I trust and most importantly both recognize and ACCEPT the fact that as much as I love and want to be a great example for all my nieces and nephews and I am not them and that their lives are not mine to lead nor live as well as believe and have the confidence in them that they can and will make the best decisions possible for themselves in their lives reguardless of whatever path they choose just as long a jail cell,a hospital bed or a cemetery is not their final destination as a result of their career choices,I am and will be at ease and at peace with what they decide.

    I also feel that the reason that we as African-Americans,we have this ”pigeonhole,ration what our kids do professionally for a living” mentality is because as much we are entirely too terrified to admit,we still have as a race an awful and still very much troublesome four centuries,multi-generational inferiority complex that because of our history {and the way we’ve historically been treated in this country by White America,} that states to us as African Americans,that we are incompetent,inferior,inconsequential,inept and irrelevant and doomed to fail and will never succeed all because we are a bunch of ”niggers” and that is all we will ever be and sadly that is the same exact garbage that we are still passing down and injecting into our kids to this very day as if it is somehow bad if they even dare to go for and do something professionally different than being a nine to fiver making 30 grand a year,let alone have the courage and the temerity to go for their dreams whatever and wherever profession they may reside as long it is safe,legal and the child is enthralled with the idea of doing it and would enjoy doing it for real someday.

    Lastly,my solution to this problem is this,that instead of us as a community and a race getting the shakes about what legal profession our children engage in for the fear that the day may arise that they might choose something other and beyond being captive,controlled,subservient employee,how about we channel our energies as parents to instill some actual morals and values in our children such as integrity,honesty, a degree of class,style,sophistication manners,a sense of decorum,self-control,self-discipline,self-restraint,responsibility, so that they will possess an actual conscience,ambition,and the belief that their dreams can be inumerable,limitless,and absolutely awesome and a well-defined sense of right and wrong and do everything in our power to make certain that our kids don’t end up in jail addicted to drugs,in a hospital bed or that we do not have to attend their funeral because of foolishness,illegal activity and mayhem done by them out in the streets,or becoming parents prior to them being old enough to drink,drive,and vote collectively and completing their education to the level they deem satisfactory be it graduating high school or college depending upon what they decide for them as far as school is concerned instead of this asinine,” I’m going to micromanage my son or daughter’s life all because I can’t bear the thought that they may want to make more than $30,000 a year doing what they love because I,the parent can’t handle the fact that my child might become more successful in their life one day than I am in mine right now or that they might choose a career in either athletics or the arts idiocy.

    Wake Up,Black America!!

    I’m Done…

    Enough Said…

    Thank You

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