Mother of Unjustly Incarcerated Son Pens Letter Describing a Mother’s Day Without Him

Last year, Brandon Jackson was sentenced to 12 years in prison by an all-white jury after defending himself against a group of white males who’d attacked him.

His story has made headlines throughout the country; but none have been more affected by this travesty than his mother, Gloria Fisher.

In a passionate, inspiring letter, Fisher discusses what it feels like to spend another Mother’s Day without her son.

On Mother’s Day: The Would be Superhero who Fears Being an Emotionally Arrested Black Mother

Since I was a little a brown girl, I have always secretly wanted to save the world. Yes, the whole big world. To say the least, I was utterly enthralled with movies like Indian Jones and the last Crusade to the point of obscene dissidence to the 80s generational black-uplift narrative of being a lawyer like Clair Huxtable. Oh no, I wanted to be an archeologist like Indian Jones. Can you see it? Me, chocolate face black girl, dawning the traditional beige musky hat of the archaeologist to uncover some man-made or supernatural plot to destroy the world. I tell you, this desire to save the damaged and brokenness of humanity is something I came into the world with. I see it as part of my soul assignment to help people know who they are and to uncover their soul names. But, somehow all of this—saving the world . . . helping people discover their inner names—got misconfigured by growing up in a violent home.

I killed my Black Mother and Now I am a Real Black Man: 14 year-old Black Boy Kills Mother?


14 year old black boy says: “I want to be one of the big black boys.” 

14 year old black boy says: “So, I killed my black mother with a twelve gauge shot gun.”

Since when does killing your black mother make you a big boy? I know this is the Black Youth Project and we are advocates for black youth, but sometimes you have to pause and say, “Who told you son that killing your black mother would make you a man?” Have we cheapened . . . completely extinguished the experiences and voices of black boyhood that now to enter into black manhood, our sons must kill their mothers. Yes, kill their black mothers. Since when did killing black mothers become a Rites of Passage program? As a bone-a-fide black feminist who often writes about black women and black girlhood, we need to develop a national Rites of Passage program for young black men. And, yes, I know the issue is not simply behavioral that systems of oppression—racism, sexism, heterosexism, class, and many others—shape access to resources and definitions of manhood. But, when a black boy says, “I want to be one of the big black boys, So, I killed my black mother with a twelve gauge shot gun because she told me I could not play with them,” we need to develop quickly ways and outlets for young black men to know they have become men.

Pariah’s Pariah: A Review, a Critique

*Spoiler Alert*

On Friday, Dee Rees’ much lauded independent film, Pariah will expand its release from four theaters to eleven, increasing the opportunity for many to view this incredibly important Focus Features release. Rees’ debut work has deservedly generated a deluge of critical praise, and should at the very least garner a few nominations come award season.

The coming of age story centers on Alike (pronounced uh-LEE-kay), played pitch perfectly by Adepero Oduye as a somewhat awkward 17-year-old high school student and aspiring poet. On the cusp of fully coming in to her sexuality, Alike dons herself in boy’s clothing at school and as she explores the gay nightlife New York City with her friend Laura (Pernell Walker). At home, however, Alike dresses in a more traditionally feminine costume to throw her mother, Audrey (Kim Wayans) off of her increasingly difficult to mask scent. This, of course, is the core tension in the film, and the viewer’s stomach tightens as the stakes get increasingly higher. As this central narrative unfolds, Alike smartly navigates her way through personal discovery, experiencing first love and a gut-wrenchingly painful heartbreak, all the while preparing for that ever difficult task of leaving the (parents’) nest.