Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

  Oh I forgot to say the most important POINT!  The above statements are the REAL destroyers of sons who are abandoned by their fathers.  Cuz they are easy   prey.  Sitting ducks for child abuse.  But! 

 

Really, you dont say???

 

* http://www.eurthisnthat.com/20...ee-video/#more-28081

 

Homeless Teen Awarded Full Scholarship To College in Tennessee (Video)

Drew Gooch, 17, is homeless student that is graduating at the top of his class and a full ride to Middle Tennessee State University.

Drew Gooch, 17, is homeless student that is graduating at the top of his class and a full ride to Middle Tennessee State University.

There are plenty of students that have problems to contend with at home that no one knows about. These brave soldiers still get up every morning and go to school to get some relief from their situation and try hard to focus.

 

####Drew Gooch is a high school senior that was living in his 1997 Toyota Camry because his mother’s live-in boyfriend is a registered sex offender which prevented him from legally living with her.### He has had an uphill struggle to survive, but managed to earn a full scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University, along with the Bootstrap Scholarship, a scholarship for “hardworking students who overcame odds to excel in their classes,” as well as a Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship.

He doesn’t mention much about his mom in his story, but talks about how he has taken care of himself buying his own groceries and washing his clothes and simply fending for himself, according to the Daily News Journal.  He told Nashville’s News 2 how he had been taking care of himself for as long as he can remember.

“It wasn’t the first time Gooch was alone, though…he remembers being ages six and seven, and not having anyone around to do things like make meals.  ”I’ve always taken care of myself,” he said.”

To survive, he would stay with an older sister or friends, he’d stay in the library until it closed, slept in his car behind Embassy Suites, and provided a donut to teachers that would agree to work with him on his studies a half an hour before school started at Holloway High School.  The 17-year-old is obviously mature beyond his years and his principal believes he’s a godsend:

“Drew is every teacher and every principal’s dream,” said Holloway High School principal Sumatra Drayton. “I know Drew will be back here, speaking at graduation. Drew will be back here mentoring students and being a model.”

Gooch has a job at McDonald’s and he is the valedictorian of his graduating class with a 3.9 GPA.  This is a story of perseverance and dedication to education that every child should read.  Gooch wants other students to know:

“Take what life gives you. Don’t give up. Don’t sell yourself short. The only person who can decide who you can be is you,” Gooch said. “That’s what I tell myself when I look in the mirror every morning.”

CONGRATULATIONS DREW! You are an inspiration to us all.

Check out his story below.

-J.C. Brooks

  I saw this yesterday,  It is sooooooooooo sad that women exchange their sons for MONSTERS.  Iyanla had a woman on her show last night  who allowed strange men to beat her daughters,  I don't understand the desperation of women like this.  I'm around children of this misfortune EVERYDAY.  It's soooooooo hurtful to watch.  And the trend is going.  Drew is very lucky to have strength inside as a human being and not give in to the wooos of his situation.  He has proven as I always say "I am NOT my environment or my situation."  All I can say to him is "bravo"  But! 

Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

  I saw this yesterday,  It is sooooooooooo sad that women exchange their sons for MONSTERS.  Iyanla had a woman on her show last night  who allowed strange men to beat her daughters,  I don't understand the desperation of women like this.  I'm around children of this misfortune EVERYDAY.  It's soooooooo hurtful to watch.  And the trend is going.  Drew is very lucky to have strength inside as a human being and not give in to the wooos of his situation.  He has proven as I always say "I am NOT my environment or my situation."  All I can say to him is "bravo"  But! 

 

+I am trying to understand why mom is dating a sex offender and why is holding on to him is more important than raising her child?  I wonder what kind of college scholarship he would have earned if he didn't have to wakeup with his head on a dashboard?  Harvard maybe?  Morehouse?  who knows, but what is known is that his household was not the best place to raise a child....I hope that we can agree on that

  Of course I can agree.  He should n't be around that-under no circumstances.  But I'm just troubled how a MOM can use a "d" over her kid.  Someone she carried for 9 months, gave birth to and cared for all his life.  It doesnt make sense that any strange man can come in her life and make her automatically abandoned her son.  It seems  it doesn't take much.  Is his mom on drugs?  That would answer the "how."  Is she being beaten by her new man?  That could answer the "why."  But to not even worry if her son is okay....now that is totally focked up.  He's living in a car and probably bathing and brushing his teeth in the school's bathroom.  That's no way for a child to live-he's still a child.  Wonder if children services is gonna kick in and find him a foster home until he graduates.  That's the thing to do for now.  I am just stunned that women do this to their children and feel nothing, no guilt or remorse.  It pisses me off quite frankly.  But! 

Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

  I saw this yesterday,  It is sooooooooooo sad that women exchange their sons for MONSTERS.  Iyanla had a woman on her show last night  who allowed strange men to beat her daughters,  I don't understand the desperation of women like this.  I'm around children of this misfortune EVERYDAY.  It's soooooooo hurtful to watch.  And the trend is going.  Drew is very lucky to have strength inside as a human being and not give in to the wooos of his situation.  He has proven as I always say "I am NOT my environment or my situation."  All I can say to him is "bravo"  But! 

Did you watch the entire episode?  This is the first complete Iylana Fix My Life that I've ever watched. I came to two conclusions: 1. the mother herself was very damaged and passed that damage to her daughters because she didn't know any better 2. This is some shit that goes back to when black women were enslaved, Post Reconstruction (which IMO was only really ended openly less than 35 years  ago) and its now deeply embedded into our culture and psyches.

This is why I think and believe we need ancestral healing as a group. We need safe spaces for this healing. And by healing I mean the restoration of our mental health.

Originally Posted by Yemaya:

Raheem, since you love Oprah and single mothers so much, she will also be doing a show on Single Mothers next Sunday.

 

 

+ I hope she includes some of the single mothers I highlighted on here...if not, she can dig deeper into this story....  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XOY-S4j1PM

 

 

and for the record, i don't hate single mothers, i hate hood dudes, hood rats, and trifling single mothers.  Single motherhood includes divorced women that respect the male leadership of ex-husbands and widow, who lost their husband at war or for other reasons...those women I hold in high regard

@ Sista Yemaya

 

Yes I saw the entire episode and heard the woman say she was abused as a child by a family friend.  And I agree that this form of absue is generationally.  Cuz back in the day, you didn't talk about Uncle Ted putting his arms on you.  Mainly cuz children were seen and not heard and I agree black people came from a horrific legacy of abuse.  But again what I am STILL having trouble with is an abused woman ALLOWING  her children to be abused....an abused woman with her eyes wide open continuing this trend when its adequate help out there.  I know it is because she didn't get therapy but I know that once you know better you do better.  And if she had a history of this, but I think the last thing she would want is the same for her children.  She was very lucky that these  men didn't sexually abuse her daughters as well.  But we don't know that-I keep wondering if these women were holding back a bit.

 

I agree with your assessment  sista Yemaya,  But as a parent I know if I was hurt like that and know what it felt like not to have someone to help me and to turn around and have a blind eye to what is going on in my household with the abuse of my children just to have a man?  Crazy!!  Now her girls did forgive her after they found out her story but the forgiveness for one of them wasn't enough to heal the pain caused by "her" childhood abuse.  And the mother has to take ownership in that because she was a grown woman when these beatings occurred.  She was a grown woman who could have seek help and left the situation...but!  Didn't.  She was a grown woman who KNEW her girls were being beaten by men not their fathers-it was no secret.  And I do understand that sometimes abuse can stunt maturity developmentally, but how can you watch your children in pain day after day without lifting a finger to do something for them as their mother?  Yes she was beaten too.  But the love for her children should inspired her to get out those situations.   And is those things  I don't understand.  Sometimes people are more sensitive to their pets than their children.  And this is 2013...and 10 yeats ago there was opportunities to address this issue....15 years ago there was opportunities to address this issue....so I am at lost as to why didn't she when she SAW with her OWN eyes what the abuse  was doing to her chlldren.  The only thing I can come up with is that she was broken.  And as I said earlier I always say to  myself and my children/students "I am not my enviroment."  So in that there is a choice that is born and it is up to the individual to go through that birth process to get to the other side of their life...but!  If they continue to remain the "victim" and find comfort stuck in that mindset....as I also said earlier...this  trend and the abusive angst of our legacy as black peole will continue to grow.   But!     

Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

@ Sista Yemaya

 

Yes I saw the entire episode and heard the woman say she was abused as a child by a family friend.  And I agree that this form of absue is generationally.  Cuz back in the day, you didn't talk about Uncle Ted putting his arms on you.  Mainly cuz children were seen and not heard and I agree black people came from a horrific legacy of abuse.  But again what I am STILL having trouble with is an abused woman ALLOWING  her children to be abused....an abused woman with her eyes wide open continuing this trend when its adequate help out there.  I know it is because she didn't get therapy but I know that once you know better you do better.  And if she had a history of this, but I think the last thing she would want is the same for her children.  She was very lucky that these  men didn't sexually abuse her daughters as well.  But we don't know that-I keep wondering if these women were holding back a bit.

 

I agree with your assessment  sista Yemaya,  But as a parent I know if I was hurt like that and know what it felt like not to have someone to help me and to turn around and have a blind eye to what is going on in my household with the abuse of my children just to have a man?  Crazy!!  Now her girls did forgive her after they found out her story but the forgiveness for one of them wasn't enough to heal the pain caused by "her" childhood abuse.  And the mother has to take ownership in that because she was a grown woman when these beatings occurred.  She was a grown woman who could have seek help and left the situation...but!  Didn't.  She was a grown woman who KNEW her girls were being beaten by men not their fathers-it was no secret.  And I do understand that sometimes abuse can stunt maturity developmentally, but how can you watch your children in pain day after day without lifting a finger to do something for them as their mother?  Yes she was beaten too.  But the love for her children should inspired her to get out those situations.   And is those things  I don't understand.  Sometimes people are more sensitive to their pets than their children.  And this is 2013...and 10 yeats ago there was opportunities to address this issue....15 years ago there was opportunities to address this issue....so I am at lost as to why didn't she when she SAW with her OWN eyes what the abuse  was doing to her chlldren.  The only thing I can come up with is that she was broken.  And as I said earlier I always say to  myself and my children/students "I am not my enviroment."  So in that there is a choice that is born and it is up to the individual to go through that birth process to get to the other side of their life...but!  If they continue to remain the "victim" and find comfort stuck in that mindset....as I also said earlier...this  trend and the abusive angst of our legacy as black peole will continue to grow.   But!     

+ i think we are starting to agree too much  

This is an important example of what happens when single mothers do GOOD with their sons.  Take a looky:


Son Surprises Mom by Paying Off Her Mortgage

For his birthday, one young man decided to give back in a big way

It's almost Mother's Day, and most moms might be hoping for chocolate or breakfast in bed.

 

How about your child paying off your mortgage?

 

One Canadian man did just that. YouTube user iProjectAtlas posted a video on April 29 of him celebrating his birthday—yes, his own birthday—by going to the bank and, from there, taking a mortgage-ending check to his unsuspecting mom.

Having saved for the last few years, despite making just $30,000 each year, according to Gawker, the young man said he wanted to celebrate the woman who gave him life.

"A large amount of her stress comes from that house," he says in the video. "She bought that house for us, for the kids, so that we would have a home to come to forever."

 

At one point, he says, he didn't see his family for more than two years yet when he came home, his mother was there, smiling, asking him only what he wanted for dinner.

While the video offers up a variety of touching moments, arguably the most affecting one is when his mother realizes what's happening. iProjectAtlas adds some on-screen commentary, translating what his Ethiopian mother is saying in her native language.

 

"Her: Tonight I will not sleep for fear of Dying of Happiness (Note: Ethiopian women can be dramatic)" he writes with humor.

 

And, perhaps like most moms, she tries to convince him that it's too much.

"You ask me who my mother is," he says in the video. "She's the strongest person I know."

Watch the video here:

 

Sidenote:  And it is the STRENGTH of true Black Mothers that raise outstanding sons without having fathers at their side.  So...it can happen.  But!

 

This is a very interesting topic, unfortunately there's very little dialogue going on about the subject at hand.  I have read repetitive, anecdotal stories about personal experiences and innuendo about African-American (AA) women being targeted for bashing... 

I came to this forum a couple of years ago, but have not responded until now.  The forum is entitled "African American Org", the poster that started this discussion, IMHO, was trying to address one of the most important issues of concern in the African American Communities all across the USA...  Single parent - Mother Lead - households and the negative impact, this dsyfunctional household has on male children...  

First, this is not an indictment of AA women, I interpret it to be a call to address the issue of broken homes and their negative impact on Mother's and their son's, but only the author of this forum can tell me, if I am correct.   Second, since this is an AA forum the poster was not concerned with addressing and/or resolving the problem of white single parent households, latino single parent households or any other group in America...   And lastly, the poster was seeking succinct, honest discussion about one of the primary issues, that statistics prove, have left the AA community in disarray, and stuck in poverty, with our son's stuck in a revolving door to the Industrial Prison Complex and/or a Justice System for Just Them, not us...

 

I will write back after celebrating Mother's Day weekend with my Mother and Lovely Wife...  Two of GOD's most gracious gifts to me...  Of course, as a product of a two parent household, married to a woman of the same background, I may have a perspective that is different from many that have been on the defense here... 

But I will supply, more than my personal experiences in this discussion, I will supply pertinent data, from the government on the problems that come from this setup introduced by our original poster...  Until that time, Happy Mother's Day to all of the women that have been great, positive and inspirational examples, leaders and supporters of their children whether via single parenthood and/or a dual lead parenting household... 

I love and respect all of you because this walk is not easy -  P E A C E!!!  

example of male leadership changing lives and a community...

 

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/04/...sr=sharebar_facebook

 

 

Ex-NBA star coaches middle school, transforms his 'hood

By Wayne Drash, CNN
updated 5:21 PM EDT, Mon May 6, 2013
Watch this video

CNN's Wayne Drash interview on NBA book

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Penny Hardaway returned to his neighborhood to coach hoops
  • Ex-NBA star wanted to help a friend battling stage IV colon cancer
  • Penny's biggest lesson: Giving your time is more important than giving money
  • CNN's Wayne Drash chronicles the season in "On These Courts"

Editor's note: This is an edited excerpt from Wayne Drash's upcoming book "On These Courts," which documents former NBA all-star Penny Hardaway's return to his Memphis roots to help a friend with cancer coach at-risk youth. The book, which is released Tuesday by Simon and Schuster, started as a story on CNN.com.

(CNN) -- The boys of Lester Middle dripped with sweat. They raced up and down the court, doing layup drills. The orange glow of the fluorescent gym lights flashed off the hardwoods. Coach Desmond Merriweather barked out signals.

"Y'all ain't hustling enough," said Merriweather, who was in the throes of battling stage IV colon cancer.

At the far end of the court, former NBA all-star Penny Hardaway peeked his head in the door. None of the kids noticed. He and Desmond decided that Penny would show up and surprise the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

As the players continued to run the court, Penny kept peeping his head in and out of the black metal doors until finally breaking into their practice.

Some of the boys instantly recognized him from a charity game two nights before and sprinted toward him.

But the two best players, Reggie Green and Robert Washington, trailed behind. They weren't sure who the 6-foot-7 guy with the trimmed goatee was.

Coach Penny provides tips to Reggie Green. Under Penny\'s leadership, Reggie\'s game improved along with his grades.
Coach Penny provides tips to Reggie Green. Under Penny's leadership, Reggie's game improved along with his grades.

Reggie was the team's affable star, outgoing, talkative and smooth. A 6-foot-3 power forward, the 14-year-old could outmuscle most teams with his sheer size. He could dominate in the post or use his finesse to pull up on a 15-foot jumper.

His grandfather was Antoine Richardson, who helped mentor Penny in his youth. Basketball served as Reggie's escape, his refuge away from street life and his mess of a home life. His father had been imprisoned 700 miles away in North Carolina months before. As with many serious offenses, the people of Binghampton -- the rough and dangerous neighborhood where Penny grew up -- have collective amnesia when it comes to specific charges: something about a high-speed chase, his car might've struck an officer, he might've resisted arrest -- you know, ordinary stuff. He also beat Reggie severely before being captured, hurting the boy as much mentally as physically.

His father had been a huge boost for him the previous season, a mainstay at basketball games, and now Reggie's world was shattered. Nicknamed Taz, his father turned into the Tasmanian Devil in the stands, so wild and crazy he spun around dancing with joy after each basket his son scored.

Taz would race from the stands and sprint alongside Reggie each trip up the court. In his view, Ji -- as he called his son -- could do no wrong. Taz would shout Ji's name so loud it would bounce off the hardwood floors and through the cavernous gym. "Give it to 'em, Ji!" Taz shouted. And Ji lapped it up. He'd pound his chest after a made basket, point to his heart and back at Taz. It was a way of showing his dad how much he loved him. Taz hadn't been there for most of Reggie's upbringing and had only returned to Binghampton because he was trying to avoid arrest. He lived the life of a gangsta and had never dreamed Ji could get his family out of the ghetto the clean way, by playing ball. But when Dez took his son under his wing, Taz saw big lights and an NBA future for his boy.

But the blue and red lights of the police caught up with him.

Reggie had been living with his aunt before his dad's arrest but was then forced to move into his grandmother's apartment in a different neighborhood, called Hollywood, a few miles away. The whole situation left him shaken, scared and confused. Guys hanging out in the stairwells of the building and others on the block jumped on the new kid. Turf wars are real, and he was coming from Binghampton, a rival hood. His grandmother, Sheila Harris, fortunately was a tough-as-nails 49-year-old and a worthy combatant, hell-bent on her grandson getting out of the projects.

The boys of Lester Middle School in Memphis rewarded Penny Hardaway with his first championship season.
The boys of Lester Middle School in Memphis rewarded Penny Hardaway with his first championship season.

"They were trying to fight him. Everything," his grandmother said. "They were really at Reggie, you know. They started surrounding him at the gym. They were over there double-teaming him because he don't want to be a gangbanger. He's not a follower. He's a leader.

"You got the gangbanging; you've got the ones trying to pull him in and get in his head because he's a young boy. We're surrounded by them. That's all they do. GDs, Vice Lords, all of them. Grapes, stay right next door. But they don't bother mine because I put it out there.

"The furthest Reggie's ass can go is right here to this curb. I may let him go to the park. But Coach will tell you, when them streetlights come on, his ass got to be right back here: Nine o'clock, he's got to be in the house."

She called the police; she called the gang unit. Whatever it took to keep the pants-on-the-ground, hat-turned-sideways gangbangers away. "I tell them don't mess with my kids!"

His grandmother is known around the neighborhood as the Freeze Cup Lady for hustling Popsicles at 50 cents a pop as a way to keep Reggie and her three other grandchildren under her roof. Reggie's mother is in and out of his life, living just up the street a few apartments away. But as his grandmother put it, the less time she spends with Reggie the better: "I'm grandmomma hard. But down the road, she's momma hard. She don't play with his ass. He can get away with things with me, but her -- oooh, baby -- she ain't nice."

Reggie was the team's leader, having played for Coach Dez since sixth grade. But with his father in prison and his downgraded and dangerous home environment, Reggie grew angry and resentful. Who could blame him?

He was once an honor roll student, but his grades began slipping in the fall of 2011 as basketball season approached. His blunt-spoken grandma gave him this advice: "You never know what's gonna happen. Just stay prayed up, ya know. Live from day to day. One day at a time."

Now, in the gym, he looked at his shirt and at Penny. His shirt was from a summer basketball camp sponsored by former Memphis Grizzlies star O.J. Mayo and Penny. The images of both basketball players graced it.

"Is that really you?" Reggie asked.

"Yeah, that's me," Penny said with a smile.

"You look different," Reggie replied.

While Reggie was the veteran of the team, this was Robert Washington's first time playing for Lester. He had never played organized ball before this season. He knew the game from playing on the street, at rec centers and even on an Amateur Athletic Union travel team, but that was all about individual play. The concept of winning was wrapped around having the best move to the basket, not about the final score or playing together. At 6-foot-4, Robert Washington had a 7-foot wingspan. His bones ached from growing so fast, and at just 14, it was clear he wasn't done.

Learn more about the transformative season

To older Memphis fans, he resembled a young Keith Lee, the dominant big man who took the Tigers to the Final Four in 1985. To the current generation, he resembled a different hoops star. His long limbs and faded haircut, along with his stellar play, earned him the nickname Little Durant, as in Oklahoma City All-Star Kevin Durant.

Robert lived in two neighboring homes a couple of blocks from the Lester school, one belonging to his aunt, the other his grandmother. Like Reggie's, Robert's dad also sat in prison. His dad had been locked up nearly all of Robert's life, mostly for drug offenses. The homes were a living testament to the saying that it takes a village to raise a child.

Robert Washington, the team\'s practical jokester, was nicknamed Goofball.
Robert Washington, the team's practical jokester, was nicknamed Goofball.

He was one of 20 kids being reared in the homes. Most days, his uncles sat in lawn chairs under the shade of an oak tree, telling tales and hustling. With so many kids running about and his father absent, similar to Penny's own adolescent experience, there just was no one to push Robert to achieve.

His auntie, Charity Washington, nicknamed Shree, did her best, but her presence wasn't like that of a male role model.

"The one thing I would hear Robert say a lot is 'All I want is my daddy to be at my games,' " she said. "He's never had that type of figure, never had a normal person in his life, like a dad.

"He's never had anyone motivating him. His father is a street father. His father never took him to the zoo or to the park or celebrated with him at his birthdays. It's all about quality time, because boys always want their dads with them. Robert can never say that, because his father was never there."

His aunt pointed up and down the street. "Robert didn't choose the streets. We weren't going to let him do that," she said.

At the Lester gym, Robert stood in front of Penny and looked down at his size-13 shoes instead of Penny's eyes when the two shook hands. Penny noticed Robert's hands were nearly as big as his. "Dude's got some mitts," he said later. Penny asked who the hype man was on the team.

"Me," said Kobe Freeman.

At 5-foot-6, Kobe served as the team's point guard. Reggie and Robert won the acclaim of superstars by pouring in tons of points. But for every big man, there's a little general who directs the floor, pushes the tempo and feeds the ball to them.

That was Kobe. He had an ebullient smile and polite manners. Nicknamed the Mayor, he always had something to say, usually positive words to encourage others to do better. He wore jersey No. 1, the same as Penny. A daunting assignment when the NBA star becomes your coach.

Penny could relate to Kobe in more ways than sharing a jersey number. Kobe met his father just three times by the time he was 10. He didn't remember much from those visits, tried not to dwell on the dad he hardly knew. Kobe lived with his five sisters and one brother at a home with his mother in Binghampton. She worked odd jobs to put food on the table. Kobe had met Coach Dez when he was about 8.

"Dez was there before my dad came. I've always claimed him as a father."

His biological dad made an attempt to be more active in his son's life, only after he heard Kobe was a good kid with promising athletic skills. "But it's still the same ol', same ol' from when I was younger."

Kobe wasn't shy like Robert and was able to meet Penny's handshake with a big grin.

Desmond's son, Nick, a seventh-grader, stood next to Penny. The two looked like the World's Tallest Man standing next to the World's Shortest. Nick's 4-foot-11 build barely came past Penny's waist. Nick possessed a toothy grin, and his tuft of hair stood straight up, like an Eraserhead.

Coach Desmond Merriweather, stricken with cancer, asked for Penny\'s help. Here, Dez is pictured with his son, Nick.
Coach Desmond Merriweather, stricken with cancer, asked for Penny's help. Here, Dez is pictured with his son, Nick.

Nick had told many of the players about Penny. After his father's battle with cancer, Nick and his dad had stayed at Penny's sprawling house, with its 12-foot-tall entryway, its waterfalls by the swimming pool and movie room with leather recliners and a screen the size of a small-town cinema.

It was a different world from what Nick was exposed to in Binghampton: lawns littered with trash and gold-teethed, jewelry-flaunting thugs manning corners.

Nick lived in a two-bedroom duplex with his father, stepmom Inga, sister and a stepbrother and cousin, both named J.R. Dez and Inga made it a tidy, peaceful home for what it was. But the neighbors smoked so much dope it came through the vents every time the air turned on; the stove leaked gas daily; the bathroom sink never fully drained. When they brushed their teeth, most of the time they spit in the toilet.

Nick was one of the few players with an active father in his life, yet he had watched as his father nearly died a year before and continued to battle colon cancer with chemo treatment every two weeks. His mother, who lives in Memphis but never had much of a relationship with Desmond, fought off her own battle, suffering from traumatic stomach surgery that nearly killed her.

All of it was enough to crush a child, but Nick witnessed his father's miracle -- and gained strength from it. Nick was a soldier, much in the way his father had described himself in high school. The point guard with a lethal three-point shot didn't show any cracks, and his teammates rarely knew much about the struggle he and his father faced.

Rounding out the team's eighth-graders were guard Courtney McLemore, a science wiz in the classroom and defensive specialist on the court; guard Demarcus "Black" Martin; and utility players Derrick "Ferb" Carnes, Xavier Young and Albert Zleh. The Zleh family fled war-torn Sudan and wound its way -- 6,500 miles -- to the war-torn streets of Binghampton. There are about nine brothers and sisters living in the Zlehs' nondescript three-bedroom apartment. But the boys are all exceptional athletes and extremely smart. Albert is fluent in several languages.

Aside from Nick, there was one other seventh-grader. Andrew Murphy, who struggled with his mother's recent death and fought often with his 22-year-old sister, who was now raising him. His mom was his idol, his rock, his foundation. He lashed out against the world with his mom gone. Hit girls in class, spoke all kinds of nasty to the teachers.

The final roster slots included two sixth-graders, Alex Lomax and George Bee. The two cut up in class, but it was easy to get them to listen. It was the older boys who would prove most difficult as the season progressed.

Coach Dez quieted the team so he could formally introduce Penny. He told the team of Penny's NBA career with the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns, of the millions he made on the court and from his own Nike shoe line. Dez also told the players that Penny was just like them -- that he hailed from Binghampton and had even lived in the dangerous Red Oak and Tillman Cove projects.

"He's traveled the whole world, so don't never let nobody tell you that you're not good enough. He's living proof that you can achieve greatness in life," Coach Dez said.

This didn't seem to have much impact on the kids, so Desmond added: "Y'all realize he once scored 38 points on Michael Jordan?"

That got their attention. Penny said he had heard the team was struggling to score against zone defenses. He had instant feedback. When you're a middle school team with two guys who are 6-4 and 6-3, feed it to them.

"I might start coming by more often to see how y'all are doing," Penny said.

Read the original story on CNN.com

Penny glanced at each of the players. In them he saw a reflection of himself from 25 years ago: struggling teens in need of positive male role models. He had walked the same streets, lived in the same projects. Every one of them had a story that echoed his.

"I came over and saw the team and just instantly fell in love with them," Penny recalled. "I wanted to let these kids know that I care. I come from the same situation, and I let them know that they can make it, too. When you have an example who's lived in the same neighborhood, lived in the same apartments, walked the same hallways, that is motivating, and it drives them. Their attitudes change. They think, If he can do it, I can do it."

One of Penny's high school coaches, Michael Toney, had talked with Penny throughout his NBA career. Coach Toney told him the younger generation could benefit from his guidance -- that the Memphis ghetto eats up so many youngsters that it sometimes feels, as mentors, as if they're bailing the ocean, that they need guys of Penny's stature to return home.

"He said, 'I haven't been home in 14 years,' " Coach Toney recalled.

"He could've said 'I'm a multimillionaire' " and never returned, Coach Toney said. "But he came back."

Penny now knew what his old coach meant. He could see how engaged the boys were. They clung to his every word. Robert and Reggie especially caught his eye. He could see they had major basketball talent but more than anything needed proper guidance in life.

He called for the starting five to take the court. Reggie, Robert, Kobe, Black and Nick rushed the floor. Coach Dez had said the team needed help scoring against zone defenses. Penny observed them and walked them through a couple of plays.

With a former NBA star in their midst, the team played with an intensity Coach Dez had never seen. Reggie rushed to the basket, sailed through the air and laid the ball high off the glass.

He glanced back at Penny and smiled. Black played lockdown defense, as did Mayor Freeman. If Penny was there to help the team score against zone defenses, it was his mere presence that made the team better this day.

Building camaraderie, Coach Penny said, was as important as winning games.
Building camaraderie, Coach Penny said, was as important as winning games.

Kobe, Black and Nick -- the smallest player on the team -- nailed three-pointer after three-pointer.

Before practice ended, Penny asked the team one more question: "Who wants to win the state?"

Every single player, from Nick to Kobe to Reggie and Robert, raised his hand. "That's good to know," Penny said, trying to contain the giddiness he felt inside.

Penny had wild eyes and a huge smile after the players were dismissed. "You didn't tell me how good they were," he said to Dez. "This team is amazing!"

"I didn't want to tell you everything, but they're real good," Dez said. "They're a special group of players."

"I'm gonna be here every day," Penny said, his heart instantly committing him to more than just being a booster. "We're gonna win state with Reggie and Robert. Oh man, what time you want me here tomorrow?"

"School gets out around 2:15 p.m."

Penny showed up early the next day. The first to the gym, with a whistle around his neck. Coach Penny -- the face of Nike after Michael Jordan, the player immortalized by his trash-talking alter ego Lil Penny -- had arrived in Binghampton. He was all in.

It was the start of a season that would transform 12 young men, a neighborhood and a former hoops star.

A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to Penny Hardaway's FastBreak Courts, part of Penny's ongoing efforts to help at-risk youth in the Memphis community.

  Black women who MAKE a difference in and out the black community:

 

Dani McClain

After conservative talk show host Glenn Beck called President Barack Obama a racist, McClain, a writer and staff member of the online activist group Color of Change, worked to get companies to pull their ads from his show. More than 285,000 people complained and signed online petitions. As a result, a number of major corporate brands, including Procter & Gamble and GEICO, pulled their ads. McClain also worked on the group's efforts to eliminate sentencing disparity between crack- and powder-cocaine offenses. Last summer Congress passed a law reducing the disparity.

 

 

Tracie Washington

Courtesy of the Louisiana Justice Institute

After Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, Washington was displaced, like nearly 500,000 other residents. But the civil rights attorney returned to her native New Orleans and has been fighting for the rights of the displaced and disadvantaged there ever since. As president of the Louisiana Justice Institute, a legal-advocacy organization devoted to social-justice campaigns, Washington is working to make sure that New Orleans' most vulnerable communities have access to housing, education and health services.

 

Erica Williams

Courtesy of The Center for American Progress

In 2008 Williams testified before Congress about college students and credit card debt. The RootHYPERLINK "http://www.theroot.com/root-100/2010/erica-williams"100 honoree got young folks interested in politics and policy in advance of President Barack Obama's election, focusing on issues such as energy and health care. Now, as deputy director of Progress 2050, a division of the Center for American Progress think tank, Williams is charged with promoting policy ideas that reflect the nation's growing racial and ethnic diversity. Politico.com has named her one of "50 Politicos to Watch."

 

Marian Wright Edelman

 

The first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1965, Edelman directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in that state's capital city. In 1973 she founded the Children's Defense Fund, which has become the premier children's-advocacy organization. The CDF issues reports and promotes public policy to ensure the well-being of the nation's youths. As part of her work with the CDF, Edelman is currently working on the Cradle to Prison Pipeline campaign to develop programs that will help prevent youths from entering the juvenile-justice system.

 

Byllye Y. Avery

Courtesy of the Fox Chase Cancer Center

One of the early leaders in the reproductive-rights movement,

Avery co-founded the Women's Health Center in Gainesville, Fla., a medical facility where women could have safe abortions; and later Birthplace, an alternative birthing center in the same city. In 1983 she created the Black Women's Health Project (now the Black Women's Health Imperative), the first national organization dedicated to black women's wellness. Today she heads the Avery Institute for Social Change, which is focused on finding health care solutions for women and families of color in poverty-stricken areas.

 

Malika Saada Saar

Courtesy of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights

Focused on improving the lives of women at the margins of society and is the founder of the nonprofit ReHYPERLINK "http://www.rebeccaproject.org/"becca Project for Human Rights.

 

She works to reform policies that affect women and girls in health, child-welfare and criminal-justice systems in the U.S. and Africa. She has fought for the civil rights of low-income and homeless families, and was instrumental in getting the Craigslist adult-services section shut down in 2010.

 

Esmeralda Simmons

Courtesy of The Center for Law and Social Justice

Whether she's addressing educational equity in public schools or providing legal work to African-centered organizations, the former New York assistant state attorney general is working on issues affecting communities of color. Few can say that they argued a case before Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, but Simmons did. Now she is executive director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, N.Y., which offers free legal services to the disenfranchised on issues such as voting rights, police brutality and discrimination.

 

Maya Wiley

Courtesy of The Center for Social Inclusion

After years working for civil rights and social-justice organizations that include the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Open Society Institute, Wiley started the Center for Social Inclusion to address the public policies that have led to socioeconomic disparities. The organization, which works to dismantle structural racism and inequity, is currently collaborating with black farmers in South Carolina to help build farmers markets, as well as with education advocates in Mississippi to help shape funding decisions.

 

Melanie Campbell

Courtesy of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

Campbell got her political start working under legendary Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, heading the city's youth-services office. Today she leads the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, which focuses on voter education and outreach. She created a youth-focused leadership-development program called Black Youth Vote! It was part of a get-out-the-vote campaign that contributed to the record turnout among young black voters in the 2008 presidential election. In the November 2010 midterms, the NCBCP managed a command center to monitor black-voter turnout

 

Malkia Cyril

Courtesy of The Center for Media Justice

She understands the power of media. That's why Cyril, a longtime community organizer and communications strategist, founded the Center for Media Justice in 2002 to ensure that "movements for justice have a public voice." In 2007 Cyril organized youth activists and people of color to challenge the dominance of the corporate radio giant Clear Channel in the San Francisco Bay Area and ensure that the voices of local hip-hop artists and community members were heard. She writes and speaks frequently on communications rights and the impact that media consolidation has on communities of color.

 

These black women have took the torch from other pioneeering black women before them and are currently doing a whole LOT more their people than showing kids how to play basketball.    Cuz as black youth will learn real soon  once they get out in the REAL world....the world don't LOVE them so they have to be prepared to be self-sufficient leaders.  And these ladies are making sure that will be in place for the next generation as well this generation of young black folks.  Cuz as we ALL know there is more to life than basketball, rap and prison.  But!

Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

  Black women who MAKE a difference in and out the black community:

 

Dani McClain

After conservative talk show host Glenn Beck called President Barack Obama a racist, McClain, a writer and staff member of the online activist group Color of Change, worked to get companies to pull their ads from his show. More than 285,000 people complained and signed online petitions. As a result, a number of major corporate brands, including Procter & Gamble and GEICO, pulled their ads. McClain also worked on the group's efforts to eliminate sentencing disparity between crack- and powder-cocaine offenses. Last summer Congress passed a law reducing the disparity.

 

 

Tracie Washington

Courtesy of the Louisiana Justice Institute

After Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, Washington was displaced, like nearly 500,000 other residents. But the civil rights attorney returned to her native New Orleans and has been fighting for the rights of the displaced and disadvantaged there ever since. As president of the Louisiana Justice Institute, a legal-advocacy organization devoted to social-justice campaigns, Washington is working to make sure that New Orleans' most vulnerable communities have access to housing, education and health services.

 

Erica Williams

Courtesy of The Center for American Progress

In 2008 Williams testified before Congress about college students and credit card debt. The RootHYPERLINK "http://www.theroot.com/root-100/2010/erica-williams"100 honoree got young folks interested in politics and policy in advance of President Barack Obama's election, focusing on issues such as energy and health care. Now, as deputy director of Progress 2050, a division of the Center for American Progress think tank, Williams is charged with promoting policy ideas that reflect the nation's growing racial and ethnic diversity. Politico.com has named her one of "50 Politicos to Watch."

 

Marian Wright Edelman

 

The first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1965, Edelman directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in that state's capital city. In 1973 she founded the Children's Defense Fund, which has become the premier children's-advocacy organization. The CDF issues reports and promotes public policy to ensure the well-being of the nation's youths. As part of her work with the CDF, Edelman is currently working on the Cradle to Prison Pipeline campaign to develop programs that will help prevent youths from entering the juvenile-justice system.

 

Byllye Y. Avery

Courtesy of the Fox Chase Cancer Center

One of the early leaders in the reproductive-rights movement,

Avery co-founded the Women's Health Center in Gainesville, Fla., a medical facility where women could have safe abortions; and later Birthplace, an alternative birthing center in the same city. In 1983 she created the Black Women's Health Project (now the Black Women's Health Imperative), the first national organization dedicated to black women's wellness. Today she heads the Avery Institute for Social Change, which is focused on finding health care solutions for women and families of color in poverty-stricken areas.

 

Malika Saada Saar

Courtesy of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights

Focused on improving the lives of women at the margins of society and is the founder of the nonprofit ReHYPERLINK "http://www.rebeccaproject.org/"becca Project for Human Rights.

 

She works to reform policies that affect women and girls in health, child-welfare and criminal-justice systems in the U.S. and Africa. She has fought for the civil rights of low-income and homeless families, and was instrumental in getting the Craigslist adult-services section shut down in 2010.

 

Esmeralda Simmons

Courtesy of The Center for Law and Social Justice

Whether she's addressing educational equity in public schools or providing legal work to African-centered organizations, the former New York assistant state attorney general is working on issues affecting communities of color. Few can say that they argued a case before Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, but Simmons did. Now she is executive director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, N.Y., which offers free legal services to the disenfranchised on issues such as voting rights, police brutality and discrimination.

 

Maya Wiley

Courtesy of The Center for Social Inclusion

After years working for civil rights and social-justice organizations that include the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Open Society Institute, Wiley started the Center for Social Inclusion to address the public policies that have led to socioeconomic disparities. The organization, which works to dismantle structural racism and inequity, is currently collaborating with black farmers in South Carolina to help build farmers markets, as well as with education advocates in Mississippi to help shape funding decisions.

 

Melanie Campbell

Courtesy of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

Campbell got her political start working under legendary Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, heading the city's youth-services office. Today she leads the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, which focuses on voter education and outreach. She created a youth-focused leadership-development program called Black Youth Vote! It was part of a get-out-the-vote campaign that contributed to the record turnout among young black voters in the 2008 presidential election. In the November 2010 midterms, the NCBCP managed a command center to monitor black-voter turnout

 

Malkia Cyril

Courtesy of The Center for Media Justice

She understands the power of media. That's why Cyril, a longtime community organizer and communications strategist, founded the Center for Media Justice in 2002 to ensure that "movements for justice have a public voice." In 2007 Cyril organized youth activists and people of color to challenge the dominance of the corporate radio giant Clear Channel in the San Francisco Bay Area and ensure that the voices of local hip-hop artists and community members were heard. She writes and speaks frequently on communications rights and the impact that media consolidation has on communities of color.

 

These black women have took the torch from other pioneeering black women before them and are currently doing a whole LOT more their people than showing kids how to play basketball.    Cuz as black youth will learn real soon  once they get out in the REAL world....the world don't LOVE them so they have to be prepared to be self-sufficient leaders.  And these ladies are making sure that will be in place for the next generation as well this generation of young black folks.  Cuz as we ALL know there is more to life than basketball, rap and prison.  But!

 

 

+Are these women single mothers that raised successful sons??  If not, I dont understand how it relates to the topic at hand??   BTW, Marian Wright Edelman is married to a white dude...BLACK POWER!!!!  hehehe

http://www.yourblackworld.net/...alth-care-discounts/

 

Former NBA Player Penny Hardaway Helps Uninsured Get Health Care Discounts

 
 
 
 

Former NBA player Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway has transitioned from athlete to philanthropic-minded businessman and he’s being truly inventive with the methods he’s employing to help his community. That’s because  Hardaway

Penny Hardaway

 isn’t just operating a traditional business,  he’s also offering a a “Penny Car”d, which promises to help uninsured people save money on health care.

Hardaway announced Sunday that Light of Glory church was one of three churches that had been chosen to begin pre-sale of the new Penny Card on Sunday.

“Anything I can do to help in the city of Memphis,” said Hardaway.

Hardaway has purchased one million cards health care discount cards.

“I think it’s a great program. Overall, it’s helping people,” he said.

Roderick Harvey, the Penny Hardaway Foundation Distribution Manager, said pharmacists accept the cards, which can save on over the counter health care costs.

“This card will save people anywhere from 10 to 85 percent on their prescriptions,” he said.

 

You can also purchase additional supplies using the card.

“Discounts on your diabetic supplies, your imaging, your lab and things of that nature,” said Harvey.

Many people in the Mid-South don’t have access to health care and Hardaway says he hopes his cards will help.

“Medical is huge,” he said. “After having six knee surgeries, I know what it would have taken for me if I didn’t have insurance or if I didn’t have the NBA to help pay for my surgeries, it would have been thousands of dollars.”

The Penny card can be used anywhere in the U.S.and will become available on July 9th.

 

 

There's no such thing as a SINGLE PARENT.  TWO PEOPLE FOUND THE CORRECT ORIFICE TO MAKE THE CHILD. One parent has the ENTIRE RESPONSIBILITY of raising the child or is LEFT WITH THE ENTIRE RESPONSIBILITY OF RAISING THE CHILD, while the other parent says "To hell with this", and goes his/her merry way.

 

Most people DON'T KNOW what a cumbersome pain in the ass it can be to raise children. They don't come with instructions, they're cute as buttons when you're in the hospital and your butt feels like it was run over by a train.  When you bring the suckers home and have to feed them, diaper them, take care of them when they're sick, have to clean up the myriad of messes they make, send them to school, listen to whatever teachers are going to have to tell you, cooking, cleaning, working, taking shit from your spouse, taking shit from your boss, driving in all kinds of inclement weather to get to the damn job to make that 2 dollar paycheck, pay all those damn bills, take them to their sports, or music teachers, or whatever, their clothes cost as much as yours to buy, their feet are twice the size of yours. I don't care who you are, there are times one might feel they want to commit hairy carey every now and then.  Worry about who they're associating with and where they are when they don't come home on time, COPS, potential traffic accidents, a flying bullet or two.

 

There'a a hell of a lot more that goes with raising these "ass pains" then when the doctor says "You're pregnant."  That's why some don't make it, and that's why people do some of the worst things imaginable to their child. They fuckin' snap. It's sickening as all hell to read about these tragedies, and it brings tears, but I UNDERSTAND. It takes 7,665 days from birth to help and hope they make age 21, but for a parent, it lasts a lifetime being one. That's why people's hair turns grey and some go bald and their teeth fall out.

Sista Norland wrote:  

There's no such thing as a SINGLE PARENT.  TWO PEOPLE FOUND THE CORRECT ORIFICE TO MAKE THE CHILD. One parent has the ENTIRE RESPONSIBILITY of raising the child or is LEFT WITH THE ENTIRE RESPONSIBILITY OF RAISING THE CHILD, while the other parent says "To hell with this", and goes his/her merry way.

 

Most people DON'T KNOW what a cumbersome pain in the ass it can be to raise children. They don't come with instructions, they're cute as buttons when you're in the hospital and your butt feels like it was run over by a train.  When you bring the suckers home and have to feed them, diaper them, take care of them when they're sick, have to clean up the myriad of messes they make, send them to school, listen to whatever teachers are going to have to tell you, cooking, cleaning, working, taking shit from your spouse, taking shit from your boss, driving in all kinds of inclement weather to get to the damn job to make that 2 dollar paycheck, pay all those damn bills, take them to their sports, or music teachers, or whatever, their clothes cost as much as yours to buy, their feet are twice the size of yours. I don't care who you are, there are times one might feel they want to commit hairy carey every now and then.  Worry about who they're associating with and where they are when they don't come home on time, COPS, potential traffic accidents, a flying bullet or two.

 

There'a a hell of a lot more that goes with raising these "ass pains" then when the doctor says "You're pregnant."  That's why some don't make it, and that's why people do some of the worst things imaginable to their child. They fuckin' snap. It's sickening as all hell to read about these tragedies, and it brings tears, but I UNDERSTAND. It takes 7,665 days from birth to help and hope they make age 21, but for a parent, it lasts a lifetime being one. That's why people's hair turns grey and some go bald and their teeth fall out.

 

  So true my sista.  And look when the same sex marriages with children....especially the men realize how much of a pain in the ass it is to raise children....and not only throw them away cuz they are no longer cute....but you gon see a lot of abandoned children....mostly from male same sex marriages.  Watch.  Cuz if a dude[and some women] can walk away from their children and feel nothing?  Guess what two men can do.  And you will see MORE of these type of children enter foster care in droves.  I'm sorry some men do not have the parental instinct that most women have.  They don't know anything about the 9 months bonding and that is why it is soooooooo hard for mothers to let go of their children during adoption...that 9 month bond-which almost always have adoptive parents shaking in their boots during child delivery-cuz they just don't know if the mother is gonna feel that bond and not wanna give their child up.  But many men do not have that bond....now some do but many upon many don't.  So if you have gay men playing house and having children through surrogacy...who's to say if BOTH of 'em won't get bored and bail out of parental responsibility at the same time....and leave their poor children to fend for themselves? I'm really concerned about that.  Cuz if heterosexual folks get tired and flee....who's to say that BOTH men in same sex marriages with children won't FLEE?  

 

So you are right my sista.  There are no books, instruction class to prepare what is ahead when you have children.  Of course there prenatal classes, parenting classes...but! You and I both know....experience beats the hell outta any book.  Let's see them look in the book when Sally decides not to come home after school and won't answer her cell phone.  Or being a cash cow for 18 years.  Let's see how fast they changed their minds.  The thing is children are not pets.  Pets are cute forever.  Children stopped being cute when their diapers are full of po and when their hands are out for cash.....all the time.  And you can't quit cuz you're tired and over the child thang.  You gotta keep going until you are done.  Think these folks are ready for that?  Time will tell.  But!    

Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

Brotha Momentum wrote:  You know, God is a single parent too.

 

  My brotha....now that?  Totally brilliant.  Should be a T-shirt.  "God is a single parent, too."  Let's see what white haters say about that.  But! 

Yeah right? That would shut them up for a bit! But somehow they will twist the Bible to say otherwise.  

 

Colossians 1:15

"The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."

Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

  Well...they twisted the Egyptian strolls to say what they wanted anyway.  And so calling it a bible is just semantics.  To me it's always gonna be the Book of the Dead i.e. Book of the After Life turned into a "slave book."  But!  

I could go in to a theological discussion about the nature of God but I left that behind a long time ago. But I will say this.... Triune Churches have the most basic thing they should understand about God describe in the Bible wrong and they contort the scriptures to make it fit Trinity dogma they inherited from the Catholic Church. 

 

Unitarian Churches have it right. 

 

So I just move on its not worth discussing because when its a matter of faith, reason and facts do not mean anything. 

Koco, I can't talk the same-sex jazz. That's on another plateau for me, one that I'll NEVER understand and one that I'll never be COERCED to understand. There's a talking time and a shutting up time; for me same-sex is a shutting up time and it's OK!!!!

I know kids, boys and girls raised by single parent moms and dads and really its about having quality time with your kids and making sure they excel in school (making A's should be an obsession) and have a good sense of who they are. 

 

I know a x-con who is raising his son on his own and runs his own business, he is a great parent and his son is doing very well, yes sir, yes mam, excellent student type kid that most parents would envy to have as a son. 

 

And its about having other friends and family having positive relations with kids. Many 2 parent families are toxic and many kids would be better off with the sane parent. 

 

I grew up in a 2 parent home but when I was 15 my parents divorced and it was one of the best events in my life. My mother was the scary type, did not want me to play football or any type of sport but I did anyway and she was cool about some things my dad would not have tolerated. As a family, my brothers and sisters we have done very well. 

 

My old man did fine too until he passed away.

 

So its not all about how horrible single parent families are its really about quality time and resources. And that's where the US must modify its policies to help all types of families to have a chance to thrive. 

 

 

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