Single Mothers Need Second Chances, because they Trickle Down

Posted on Posted in Blog, Parenting's Not Easy

Single Mothers Need Second Chances, because they Trickle Down




Have you ever needed a second chance?  Perhaps you made a very unwise decision and afterwards you were humbly hopeful that someone would take pity on the error of your incorrect thinking.
 [Raises hand slowly]
Once upon a time, in a life long, long ago I was a single mother.  In short, I met a person who looked at responsibility as an allergen.  Signs my parents saw and warned me about, but I did not listen.  Out of my not listening I got a beautiful baby girl. Once I saw that almond shaped and colored face I knew I wanted to provide a better life for her, one that my high school diploma, single mother income could not afford. Thankfully my parents gave me a second chance.  They encouraged me to return to college.   I also had encouragement from my undergrad advisor.  Who told me to not give up – again and again?  I had relatives and friends who would ask me how it was going and they would tell me they were praying for me.  
My parent’s second chances also came in the form of:
  •  giving me a car to drive.
  • picking my oldest baby girl up from school so that I was able to go back to college.
  • reading to my oldest baby girl and providing funds for or taking her to activities.
  • writing a check so that my oldest baby girl was able to receive a private school education.
If anything my single mothers experience has led me to firmly believe that there is no greater blessing than a second chance, especially those that provide benefits which trickle down. 
President Obama recently spoke about second chances in his speech to Black and Hispanic males last week.  In his speech about the initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, President Obama revealed that he too is a product of second chances.
children of color black hispanic boys achievement gap my brothers keeper
In fact, the President said:
 “…I grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgiving. So when I made a mistake, the consequences were not as severe. I had people who encouraged me, not just my mom and grandparents, but wonderful teachers and community leaders. And they pushed me to work hard and study hard and make the most of myself. And If I didn't listen, they said it again. And if I didn't listen, they said it a third time and they would give me second chances and third chances. They never gave up on me, and so I didn't give up on myself.President Barack Obama comments at White House event to announce the "My Brother's Keeper" initiative
Some people, Black and White, have criticized the President’s latest initiative to bolster the success of young male children of color.  I would ask, what then is the solution?  The President, it seems, is trying to address an issue that didn’t just happen yesterday.  The academic achievement gap is a problem that is a result of year’s of inequitable school zoning policies, teachers and schools with low expectations and parents with social networks that don’t lead to the White House.  Certainly, the issue of the academic achievement gap is not one this president can fix with the stroke of his pen.  The issue of inferior academic success is one that requires an all hands on deck approach and no doubt the offering of second chances.  I for one am in favor. My single mama days have taught me well the benefits of the trickledown effect.

What do you think, praise or criticism for My Brother’s Keeper?


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