Monday, March 14, 2011

Male youth book status: Interviews!

I finally finished editing the main text, and I can tell you I'm exhausted from it! Altogether there're 44 chapters to the book. Though 44 short chapters, it's still a relief to have finally put the last dot to the last sentence! Some of my writer-friends actually enjoy editing, but I see it as the more mundane part of the writing process. The mechanics of finding the natural flow. It's an essential part of self-publishing, especially since you're on your own in the many roles you have to play. From writer to proofreader, editor to printer, book designer to marketing wizard. The other roles actually aren't as intimidating, to me. It's having to delete this and add that, change this around, move it over there, don't say this way, say it that way that test me. It just takes away from forward movement, though it's all forward movement. I guess part of the frustration is my impatience. I'm so ready to share my message, when Spirit says not so fast. One more thing... 'Matterfact, the last chapter is called 'One more thing'.

Nevertheless, it feels good to finally get to the life stories of these young males. The real meat of the book, to me. Their voices not only enhance the text, but remind me of why I decided to write the book, in the first place. I've basically chosen seven youths ranging from ex-gangbanger to intellectual, with each young man sharing their personal struggles, how they went about overcoming them, who and what inspired them to stay focused on their goals, what lessons they learned, what the words 'black', 'nigga', 'African', 'father', 'emotional wellness' and 'education' mean to them, and what we the parents, educators, counselors and law enforcement officials can learn from their interpretations, if not definitions?

I also plan on asking each of them what they want their legacy to be? Because as young as they may be, it's important to encourage our young men to begin thinking about what that means so their actions can match their intentions.

Already, some of them are letting me know they're ready to talk; and you can feel their sincerity. That's it's not their ego trying to jump the line, but a need to release their burdens and perhaps find some kind of understanding to their struggles, along with the fact that many of them don't have a platform to lend their voices. Their names will be changed, for obvious reasons, except mine. Can't write a book on marginalized Black males and not see myself in it!

Stay tuned...

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