Author Jason Reynolds on Single Moms Raising Men


Recently, a Pastor wrote a list of the “10 Harmful Things Single Mothers Do to Ruin their Sons Lives.” I did not, necessarily, want to spotlight his dogmatic perspective of single mothers’ inability to rear boys into manhood simply because mothers are not men, but I felt some kind of way. The assertion that a woman cannot raise a boy to be a successful and complete man seems ridiculous. Still, as the single mother of a young lady, I felt I had no voice to speak on the issue.

Then I stumble upon another perspective titled “7 Things Single Moms Do to Ruin Their Sons” and felt I had to address this issue somehow. The job of a single parent is challenging. Every single parent is well aware of their deficiencies and does her (or his) best to ensure that their child’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met. To tag them with ruining their son(s), or worse, claiming their inability to succeed is rooted in their parent’s gender, to me, is an insult and gives little hope to single moms who exist in the, now, impossible situation proponents of this belief have created.

images (1)I spoke with a man who is the product of being raised by a single mom. Jason Reynolds was born in the challenging, low-income suburbs of Washington, DC. He has seen the best and the worst of the human experience and tells those stories in his award-winning novels “When I Was the Greatest,” “The Boy in the Black Suit,” and most recently, “All American Boys.” I asked him if the reality of a single mother succeeding at raising a boy to a man was an illusion or if, in fact, a single mom can produce great men. His response tells not how single moms ruin their sons, but rather, all they give to them.




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