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My Effort, Resentment, & Guilt and My Grandfather's Judgement. 























     I had just wrapped up a pretty decent first date with a young lady; nothing major - just food and conversation. She invited me into her home to meet her mother so I took a seat on the couch, but by the time her mother came downstairs to greet me; I had kicked off my shoes and fell asleep. It was 1995, I was 19 years-old, I was trying to work 2 jobs and go to school but exhaustion had caught up with me. 

     Now let me give you this…

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Parenting to your Strengths 

My grandfather had story for every situation & obstacle in life.  He constantly used his past experiences to help me (try to) avoid mistakes and guide me.  My grandmother never shared many personal stories.  Most of her parenting was through the muse of prayer and bible study.  My grandfather on the other hand rarely used religious teachings to get his point across to me.  For the most part he was a pretty proud Christian, but was also at his best when he used his own familiarities to relate to me…Read more

Hip-Hop, Parenting, Grand Ma, 1986 to 2014 

   It’s hard to believe that in 1986 my grandmother found my RUN DMC Raising Hell tape, threw it away, and grounded me.  She was a Christian and anything titled Raising Hell haaad to be bad.  I remember several months later she walked in on me listening to EPMD and said, “I don’t know what they’re saying, but it all sounds bad.”  I was 10 years old then.  A time when hip-hop songs only came on the radio weekends after 8pm, a time when I would have a blank cassette paused in my Sanyo boom-box so I could…Read more

Saying, “No Thank You,” Grand Ma, and Integrity 

Growing up; once a month or so Mr. Martin would come by and check on his house and children next door to us.  He owned the 3 bedroom colonial but allowed his adult children to stay there.  He would pull up in his long Cadillac, visit all the neighbors, stop the ice-cream truck, and buy ice-cream for every kid who happened to be outside; except for me.  My grandparents never allowed me to accept ice-cream from Mr. Martin (though they did like him a lot). 
As I got a little older (11 years-old maybe), I would…Read more

Domestic Violence in Review and Perspective 

If you know me or have read any of my earlier blog posts than you already know domestic violence has affected my life.  I lost both parents to a domestic violence situation that has never been officially comprehended.  But this not solely about me - lets look a layer deeper into domestic violence in this society. 
Historical Perspective
For hundreds of years in western culture; most cities/states and law makers refused to properly acknowledge domestic violence.  You could start as recent as 1920 through the…Read more

Role Models, Examples, Giving, and Hard Work 


I’m far from a perfect father and I don’t claim to know everything about parenthood or raising children.  But I do understand the importance of setting “examples.”  I understand because my grandparents were awesome examples.  The main constant with both of them is that they always treated everyone with a lot of respect, dignity, and class.  Now that’s not to say everyone deserved that respect-lol! My grand ma had to be the most “giving” person ever invented.  It seemed that during the holidays every one…Read more

Crying Son, Sacrificing life, business, Identify, and Being Happy 


I remember the day I went through my youngest son’s book bag when he 6 years-old. I found the usual - crayons, books, toys, and crumbs. As I looked through his school project folder I ran across a school assignment. It was a small stapled construction paper booklet in which he drew pictures of his emotions. When I turned to the page that read, “What makes me sad,” there was a drawn picture of him playing and crying while I was at my computer working. Talk about a guilt trip.
That year was 2009 and I was…Read more

Hip-Hop, Fatherhood, Communication, & Understanding 

I could feel each and every eyeball analyzing me, reading me, trying to figure me out. I was at a LifeSkills school to talk and share poetry with the students. They all had “extreme” backgrounds – gangs, guns, drugs, and violence. And here I was – hoping one or two of the syllables that would spill from my mouth would be enough to make a difference. But did have a few things going for me - I looked like them. They had tattoos: I had tattoos. They listened to Dr. Dre, Jay Z, Snoop etc: I did too. They wore…Read more

Daughters, Daddy, Valentine’s Day, Communication, and Relationships 

I have four children – 2 boys and 2 girls. I love them all and have been doing/trying to build/maintain strong communication and relationships with them both. I’ll be honest – It’s much easier with boys than girls-lol.

Boys haven’t changed too much over the years. We like sports, video games, music, cars and girls. Though my sons are into things much earlier than I was; I still have had the same experiences. I can relate to them and have sturdy relationships with them both.

My daughters are harder. I was…

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Parenting, Repetition, Lectures, & Talking 

While telling my oldest son a random story from my past with a notable moral “point” at the end – he gave me the best response ever.

“Dad, you’ve told me this story 100 times.”

That was wonderful because it meant he was paying attention. I can recite word for word at least 12 stories my grandfather told me during the 22 years I was blessed to have him in my life. I will be honest – I know most of those stories because he kept retelling them, not because I was actually paying attention. It’s kind of like…Read more