Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life (Brewster, Stephenson & Beard)

What a remarkable, brave, inspiring, educational and frustrating book. If I had the means, I’d make it required reading for, well, everyone. Together, the authors are able to present complex issues in an organized and accessible manner. This book is truly part of the American story.

At times, I found myself discouraged. By the time I meet with students in high school, is it too late? Too late for what? Can we get them on a path to a successful future, however such a future is defined?

I also wished that the authors hadn’t relied so much on academics. I’d have liked to hear more from teachers.

Finally, while I accept that everyone learns differently, I don’t happen to worship at Howard Gardner’s altar.

The book leaves me wondering how I go back and forward at the same time. Trust, I am told. Relationships. Yet these things take time. And at the same time, time is passing.

The book provides tremendous resources and many interesting avenues to explore. I know it’s directed towards parents and not teachers, but we’re part of the conversation.

This is a book to keep on the desk. It is already marked up and well-loved. Time will only make it more so.

I will watch the movie soon — http://www.americanpromise.org/#/intro.

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