My son calls me on a weekly basis--not to report in, just to touch base. I tell him, "You call and talk to me, not just your mother. I want to know what's going on, what your plans are for the weekend." And I'm not dictating to him. He'll ask me anything about anything, including young ladies--how I feel about this, how I feel about that, and I will tell him to the best of my knowledge.
This final comment is typical of what we heard from sons.
Especially in college, my parents say to take the classes that you are supposed to take, and to make sure you are in the right major. They say that if it is too stressful, they would rather have me cut back. They don't want me to burn myself out. They are definitely looking out for my well-being. I'm grateful that they have kept parenting, because a lot of stuff they told me when I was younger--it took me until now to see it. And a lot of stuff they told me recently, I saw it almost immediately.
In the first section of the chapter, we discussed the early years through high school. In this second section we have described the components of the Meyerhoff Program, one program among many in the country designed to help college-age African Americans beat the odds, succeed in math and science majors, and go on to graduate or professional school. We hope that from reading this chapter, parents will become more fully aware of the challenges that their sons will face throughout their schooling. Parents should be prepared to help their sons meet the challenges that await them at each level of their schooling and to carefully help them select college and university environments that will empower them to succeed (see Appendix B).
In this chapter, as in the earlier chapters, we have heard a chorus of voices--voices differing in many details, but, when taken together, speaking clearly to us about challenges, support, love, and the fruits of commitment and hard work. We are now ready to bring together, in the final chapter, the major lessons we learned during this journey. Our hope is that parents, sons, educators, and policy makers will benefit from this discussion and that together we can help ensure in the future the emergence of an even larger chorus of voices of academically successful Black sons and their parents.