Dominate Reading Assignment- The Men Tour (The Talk)

The Men Tour

(The “Talk” with my Teenaged Black Son)

Not much has changed since ‘72

A time when I thought, or maybe I knew

That the shared candy necklaces and fire hydrant sprays

On the streets where I lived

…with the friends that I played

This was my hood, my set, my block

A place that seem safe, but truly, it was not

So I ask that you heed

The words, slurs, verbs and pronouns

…of this profound, message that

Resonates and capitulates

To an old man’s epithet

Because it’s YOU that I fear, when you walk out that door,

Who will cease to exist, and I cannot ignore

The talk among talks…not the birds and the bees

It’s how you must act…

will you listen please?

Yes…this IS your hood, your set, your block

I’m just trying to tell you how…to not get yourself shot

It’s more than two hands high, plain view sight

Both hands on a steering wheel

It’s a…no Son don’t…please cooperate

To keep you safe, parental plea and appeal

Far from an Uncle Tom stigma…

You’re an enigma to a man with a badge,

gun and different skin tone

Don’t even think about reaching for that cell phone

With hope it’s…me you can call

No Son…stay focused

Resist the urge to lash out and retaliate

Stay strong…stand tall…even when they emasculate

Now that it’s 18, not as in year, but more so…your age

Remember we fight not with our fist…and must harness our inner rage

You see…not much has changed since ‘72

Except it’s me on this end of the conversation…staring at you

I now see clearly what my parents saw in me

In my hood, my set, on my city street

And as your journey takes to…

foreign hoods, desolate streets, and dark corridors

Remember you control your mind…so the decision is always yours

You with your Black face, dark skin, and pride that you store

Remember this talk…my Son…

a talk from your mentor.


Eric Jerome Custard, Mentor/Father/Author

Government Civilian, Dept. of the Army


Did anyone ever have "The Talk" with you? Share one thing you remember in the comment section?

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