by Marita Golden
Marita Golden began her writing career with Migrations of the Heart, a memoir about living with her husband in his native Nigeria. In Migrations, Golden described how it was only with the birth of her child - a son - that she was truly respected, for in that culture males are held in the highest esteem. Ten years later, in SAVING OUR SONS, Golden presents, in essence, her son's story. Having returned to the United States from Nigeria, Marita and Michael, in his teens, find their lives haunted by evidence of a horrifying statistic: The leading cause of death among black males under the age of twenty-one is homicide. The boy who was once surrounded by a warm, loving African family is now looked upon with scorn by many whites and with a deep, aching fear by his fellow African-Americans that his life may be casually taken. Through the story of raising her son against the backdrop of a racially divided society, Golden confronts the causes of the violence that surrounds African-American men and reassesses the legacy of her own generation's struggle for civil rights. She talks to psychologists, writers, and young black men - criminals and scholars both - and explores how single black mothers are often blamed for troubled youth. In this fiercely lyrical and revealing narrative, Golden has created a work of profound and lasting importance: a book that sensitively and uniquely addresses the problems of boyhood and emerging manhood. This is a book in which mothers across the country will see themselves and their sons.
Hardcover: 190 pages