Education and Family

The Book of Dad

Dr. Robert Benson

The Book of Dad – New Beginnings; a Father Talks with his Sons about the plight of the African American Male

Ambient is a very difficult topic to discuss that however needs to be addressed, the problem is that it’s nearly impossible to converse on it without conveying anger and racism. Let’s face it, the last year and a half or so has been simply perilous for African American Men.  Even more frightening for this demographic is that the peril faced has at times (most certainly media attention garnering) been at the hands of those chartered with “protecting and serving” them and society in general.  Couple this with a permeating self-destructive culture, and the result is that they are being sucked up by a soul stealing zombie and  seeing each other at the “Crossroads” (Bone Thugs N Harmony), “So Many Tears” (Topac Shakur), are shed regularly. Also contributing to the soup are TV shows like the “The Wire” that glorify and condition a mindset of self degradation and that they, or we are a demographic at the bottom of the societal food chain.

As a father and African American male, I struggle with determining a positive way to approach the problem of dealing with authority or law enforcement.

Normally my approach tends to be from an intellectual view and standpoint, however, intellectualism is not an adjective normally associated with the demographic in peril, it’s a dilemma that simply discourages a man of my stature. This frustration surfaces because when these scenarios occur, one can’t help but feel helpless, or belittled.  Nonetheless, the interactions and exchanges between authorities and African American Men aren’t always dangerous or perilous.  To demonstrate and expound on this I bring in two gents to discuss this matter, my sons: Marcus & Andrew Benson. They have firsthand, recent experience in dealing with an altercation with  police in the state of Georgia. The great thing is that even though this could have been a cantankerous encounter, they are here to talk about it, without citation or further encounter with authorities.  They share this story, our discussion extends beyond this experience to the state of affairs and dealing with the perception of the African American Male in general.

I also post a discussion topic relating to this on my blog: