Thursday, October 21, 2010


As a mother I was excited and nervous as this is my sons 1st year of Kindergarten. Academically I wasn't concerned as he is an extremely bright child and anyone who knows him will tell you that. So his first 4 days at the new school were good after all he came home with the highest color. That Friday, I was told Remington kicked, scratched, punched and spit on one of his teachers and that he was suspended that Monday. the next week he returns to school and has more not so good days than good days and I must meet with superintendents, principals and teachers. All I was hearing was Remington slapped the teacher, he punched the principal...Remington, Remington, Remington.

I took all his priviledges away eg. TV, dining out, listening to the popular radio stations, use discipline and time outs everything to no avail. Then his father stepped in and he went to stay with his dad. He had a turn around and was spending more time in the classroom than out as prior to we would be called around 9/10A after dropping him off at 8A to come and pick him up because he attacked a teacher or a student.

As parents his father and I were very receptive to what the school staff was telling us. We also understood that while he is not a perfect child the behavior he exhibited at school was to an extreme we'd never experienced so we weren't sure how to handle the situation at home to curb his behavior at school.

We talked to him we tried just about everything. We had family members telling us to seek counseling. As a woman of faith and a Christian woman I was praying, I even wrote out scriptures that he and I would recite in the morning before school and I had him saying positive affirmations as I believe there is power in the spoken word.

The final meeting I attended at the school his dad asked maybe he isn't being challenged here, maybe it is something the school is doing that isn't working for him, and maybe he just has an issue with white people. That was the first time he was around so many at one time and their approach to discipline was slightly different than ours. I remember the Principal telling me he won't go into time out so we will start him off at like 2 minutes. I told her thats odd because he understands what time out is, he sat in time out for 10 15 minutes at home as it gets extended when he cries/whines while in time out. I told her he understands what it is and is capable of going to time out! When we became to question the school and their ability to handle Remington, at that point the school seemed to be less of a Remington advocate and more against him and us! I received a call that a counselor was available to meet with him and I was all for it.

Come to find out the counselor was from Hartgrove Medical Clinic. They wanted to send Remington there for 2 weeks in lieu of school to figure out what was "wrong" with him. Hartgrove is a mental institution. Initially we agreed and then we quickly changed our minds as we thought as parents the boy has yet to see a therapist and the school hasn't changed any of the methods they use to deal with our child. I also refuse to allow my son to be given any medication and I cannot control what is done to him when I am not present. Then matters became worst at the school. They were painting our son to be a monster who had a mental problem and viewing us as unfit parents unwilling to explore all possibilites which was absolutely and utterly false.

In the midst of all of this I was praying for my son, speaking life into the situation and even laying hands on him. I also attended Living Word Christian Center and the Pastor laid hands on a little boy and told his mom to read Psalm 91 over him for 7 days. Although Remington was at his dads house I read Psalm 91 as in the spirit space and time do not exist! Then I realized that I had to increase my faith in the situation. For I was praying and speaking life but I was still full of worry and doubt. Finally I watched Creflo Dollar and he spoke and said sometimes you just have to plead the blood over a situation and then shut up and I did just that.

We also transferred him to another school and we have seen a complete turn around in him as he has been able to stay in class/school all day from start to finish. Yes he had a few bumps in the road but overall he has done a 150 degree turn around and the full 180 degree turn around is on the way! I am confident and assured of that in faith!!!!

I share this for this reason. I recognize that I am raising a black boy that will turn into a black man. His school which consisted primarily of white faculty was quick to put a label on my child and even willing to send him to a mental institution. They even told us if the counselor had to come back out and decided that he needed to be hospitalized that is what they were going to do! That is the point when his father and I knew he needed to attend a new school.

As parents understand that you have options. Be realistic with what is going on with your child and be willing to seek help. Nevertheless don't take at complete face value what someone tells you about your child especially when you know it is outside of their chracter. We have options and rights and our first responsibility is to be an advocate for our children. They need to be confident and reassured that their parents have their back and are there for them at all times.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, October 15, 2010


I will start this blog off with a snippet of an article by Steve Perry in the November issue of Essence Magazine.

"Educator Steve Perry says parents must take a bold stand to reverse the shocking number of Black males who aren't graduating with their class.

Its a wake-up call that every Black parent should hear: more than HALF of our boys didn't graduate from high school in 2008. Overall 53% of young brothers in the United States didn't graduate on time, and the numbers were alarmingly high for those who didn't march in a cap and gown in New York, Cleveland, Detroit, and Philadelphia."

Statistics from the article: 98% of black boys graduate in the state of Maine, 28% of black boys graduated in the state of New York!

I am not sure how many black boys graduate in the state of Illinois however I do know that the high school graduate rate in the city of Chicago over all is between 48 to 52%.

I am the mother of a black boy and the auntie to 3 black boys. I am confident and secure in knowing that all 4 of them will graduate high school as well as college/trade school and go on to become professionals and entrepreneurs (that is my faith speaking).

However it is not enough for me or anyone else to take on the me and mine mentality. We have to take a genuine concern for others and ensure that their needs are being met. Of course there isn't a quick fix answer and I will not pretend that I have one.

While I don't agree with the me and mine it does start at home, educate your children, read to them from birth, teach them colors, letters, etc. even before they begin to speak. With the knowledge that many of the schools in our communities are sub par it is our responsibility as parents to find every resource that is available to us and use them. Not relying on the excuse of blaming the school system.

Reach out and volunteer, give of your time and talents to help others. Visit shelters, find out about programs in and around your community and beyond. Right now I am the pen pal to a little boy in another state through I paid a $6.95 fee so they could do a background check and I now read and discuss books every school year with a child. Reading is an important and necessary tool. There is a govenor that predicts his future prison population off of 3rd graders reading scores!

The black man is essential and vital to the black family and the black community. The family unit is important in society in general.

We as African Americans sometimes wonder why we have not advanced more as a people. Of course many of us have advance and great strides have been made after all Obama is President. Since he has taken office police crimes against black males have risen (taken from Louis Farrakhan talk), the Tea Party has emerged and those who were closet racist have come out of the closet.

So while there are African Americans that can say oh we have made great gains...there is still work to do which is evident in the graduation rate of our black males. Yes all children are capable of learning and succeeding, New Hampshire boasts a 83% graduate rate for black boys which is higher than the 78% of white counterparts.

That is evidence in itself that all of our children are capable of learning. If given the proper tools and the right head start from their parents our children can learn, excel, compete, and function in society.

Unless we as a race address the attack on our black men we as a race will always lag behind. It is time to take action, get involved and care for our future and the future of the generations to come after us.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Who Sent the Storm: A Personal Lesson on Faith and Fear

Today I sent my sister and email apologizing to her for something that I said last year. Why did I send her an apology now? I felt it was necessary and because I have learned and grown. See at the time what I said to her I felt was right, justified and made sense. Now as I am growing in the spirit of God, knowledge and wisdom I realize that I was completely wrong.

Why was I wrong? I was wrong because I allowed my lack of faith, fear, and natural knowledge speak for me and about my sisters situation. Now I realize that I should never impose my lack of fear or faith on to another nor should I let them affect me with their lack of faith or fear.

I think about the recent teaching I received on from the passage in the bible when Jesus was in the boat with the disciples sleeping and a storm came. The disciples became afraid and they woke Jesus up and said Mark 4: 38c "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" Jesus rebuked the storm and then said Mark 4:38b "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

Christians are notorious for telling each other when they encounter a storm that they have done something wronged, sinned, and they are being punished by God in some way. Others feel that the storm is a test of faith and that God sent the storm for you to stay in faith.

The teaching I received on this was slightly different. God didn't send the storm, the devil sent the storm. God wanted Jesus and the disciples to make it to the other side the devil didn't. God wants for us to be prosperous, healthy, happy, and whole and already sees us that way. The enemy/devil/satan's sole mission is to pluck the Word from us so that we do not walk in an operate in faith. He cares nothing about us he cares about the Word that is planted within us. For the Word is so powerful that when spoken it has the ability to bring itself to pass!

How does this tie in to my apology to my sister? My sister decided last year to quit her job due to a lot of different things happening in her workplace. Instead of me getting on my knees to pray, thanking God for her provision for he supplies all her needs according to his riches and glory, that the Lord is her shepherd she shall not be in want, instead thanking God for her immense faith in this situation and asking him to keep my own and praying that God give her wisdom in the situation. I told my sister wait until you find another job before you quit that one!

What kind of thing was that for me to say as a woman claiming to be a Christian whom walks in faith?

Not a very good one. So, I apologized to my sister for that very reason. No the road won't be easy. Yes the bible says that it rained, thundered, and stormed on the just and unjust but the difference was the foundation, our foundation should be God, Jesus, and the Word wrapped up in faith that everything in the bible is true and right and that God is faithful.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials