Articles Tagged: short stories

It Takes A Hood to Raise A Hood

February 18th, 2010 | By Sonnie

Once upon a time in a Fairy Tale land called Chicago, there lived a little boy named Tre.  Tre lived with his mother in a two bedroom apartment in a run down housing complex.  His father was a police officer killed in the line of duty.

Tre loved everything about seeing his father in a uniform.  The pride he took in making sure his clothes were clean and pressed made Tre want to do the same.  The time he spent talking to the every person he met on the street had opened Tre’s heart and allowed him to open his ears.  But nothing compared to what Tre’s father gave him outside of his uniform.

Tre’s father loved Science.  He was always in their little garage doing experiments with John, the boy next door.   Tre was to small at the time to help with any of the experiments but he loved sitting and watching as his father tried, failed, and tried again.  After his father died, John would often come over and continue the experiments.

As one year, then two passed, John stopped coming around as much and with his mother working two jobs and volunteering at the Church, Tre was often lonely.  But he didn’t care, he had science and this year he planned on taking top place in the City’s Science Fair.  Tre’s father experimented with weapons, so he took that science and applied it to race cars.  He invented a new way to send his toys airborne.

His mother was so excited for him, she went and bought him a $200 toy race car.  While she never would’ve spent that kind of money on  a regular toy, she knew how important this was for his education and ever more, his confidence.  Tre completed his project and invited John to see.   John was amazed at Tre’s ability to infuse his father’s technology into something so cool.  Tre knew his father would be proud.

Finally, it was time to turn in his project.  That morning his mother prayed over him and kissed his head for good luck.  Tre felt like he was on top of the world.  He passed a group of neighborhood boys on the street who took and instant interest in his car.  Tre wanted to be like his father, so he stopped and took the time to explain his project.  Maybe he could get one of these guys interested in science.

Not so lucky.  The boys began kicking and stomping the car until it was crushed into a myriad of pieces.  Tre stood and watched with little reaction.  The boys laughed and joked as Tre watched all his hard work destroyed.  Tre wanted to cry but he knew his father wouldn’t cry.  He wanted to fight back but he knew his father wouldn’t fight back.  And as he was thinking about his father, he felt sorry for the boys.  They probably never had a father to teach them right and wrong.  So, he did nothing and continued on his way to school.

When the teacher asked for his project, he turned in all his research and explained about his car.  The teacher wanted him to point out which boys wrecked the car but Tre refused.  He had his father’s memory and the knowledge he had succeeded in an experiment, that was enough for him.  The teacher, that one in a million teacher, decided it wasn’t enough for her.  She called Tre’s mom and told her about the situation.

Tre took the long way home to avoid the boys and when he opened the door, there sat his Mom, his teacher, and John.  Tre was confused.

“What happened today?”  His mother’s tone struck fear in him.

“Some boys crashed my car.”  Tre stated back, squaring his shoulders like his father taught him.

“What boys?”  John shouted back.

Tre felt torn apart inside.  His father would find a way to help those boys, not get them in trouble.  What was he to do?  “I’m not telling. My Dad…..”

“Your Dad was a police officer.  His job was to make sure kids like you got to school safely and without being bullied.  Do you think your father would’ve let this slide?”  Tre’s mother tried to contain herself.

“I think my father would’ve thought of another way to deal with it.  He would try, fail, and then he would try again.  But he would never stop trying.”  Tre started to tear up.

The three sat and watched as Tre grew up in front of their eyes.   “We get it.  We know what your father was and how he thought.  We know that you miss him like crazy but your life can’t be based on the past.  You are not helping those boys by forgiving their misbehaving.  You are only giving them the confidence to escalate their attacks.  You like the fact that your father tried and failed.  They have to fail, too.  Someone has to stand up to them.  That’s what you’re father did every time he put on that blue suit.”  That one in a Million teacher chimed in. 

“And what about your dreams?  You can’t spend your life tip toeing around these fools.  I know them.  I get hassled everyday because I joined the Science Club, but I have a job this summer in the burbs’ at a manufacturing plant.  If they think they hate me now, just wait til I roll up next year in my new ride.”  John inserted with a pop of his collar.  “If you let them, they will suck all the drive and passion out of you.”

“Both of those are really good  points.  But while you’re remembering your past and your father and dreaming about your future, don’t look over lessons being learned right now.  We could move to the burbs’.  Hell, I work to two jobs, money isn’t the issue.  Your father and I grew up in this neighbor.  We remember when the playgrounds were clean and the people were nice.  I stay because this is not what your father and I wished for this community.”  His mother began to cry.

Tre’s mind wondered as he processed all the information.  It was immensely important he make his father proud, equally important he make a better life for his future family, and even though he didn’t have memories of a clean playground, he wanted to one day see it come into existence.

“O.K. So what do I do next?”  Tre asked.

“First, you come up with another car by the end of the week for your project.  I got you an extension.”  His now Favorite Teacher spoke first.

“I’ve cleared it with my school and some of the clubs are going to miss second period to walk you and your other classmates to school.”  His Confidant John spoke next.

“And you are going to tell me which boys crushed the $200 toy I bought.  Then you are going to trust your mother to do the right thing.” She wiped her tears and returned to her normal state.

The end of the week came and Tre had successfully turned a $25 thrift store car, bought with his own money, into a projectile sports car.  His mother prayed over him and kissed his head for good luck.  Tre’s heart was still a little heavy.  When he exited his building, John and one of the boys who stomped his car were standing out front.  Tre instantly hid his car behind his back.

“You ain’t gotta do that, lil man.  I’m sorry I ruined your car.  We were just having fun, we didn’t realize how important it was to you.”  The boy stuck out his hand for a pound.

Tre was not feeling so gracious.  He knew his father would accept and he knew accepting could prevent future incidents, but his mother’s word rang loud in his head.  “It doesn’t matter if it was important or not.  Wrong is wrong and you were Wrong.  I love science. One day when you realize you’ve wasted the time you should’ve spent finding out what you love and you turn to selling drugs, you can come to my little garage and I’ll show you the science behind it.  Including  how your stomping my car is a direct result of its usage in our community.”  Tre could feel his emotions rising.

“Whoa, little man.  Calm down.”  The boy could see Tre puffing out his chest.

“I’m serious.  It took away my dad and I’m guessing it took away yours, in some shape, form, or fashion.  If the only thing you can find in this world to love is bringing other people down, then I will make it hard for you to live in this community.  I’m here now and my mother wants to see a clean playground and before I leave this Earth she will see a clean playground.”  Tre stood proud with his car on display.

Tre finished first place in the Science Fair and was approached by John’s manufacturing company to put his cars into production.  Tre made two requests.  One, the plant had to be built on a bus line.  It had to provide jobs for the people in his community.  And second, the company had to build a park close to Tre’s run down housing complex.  And Tre vowed to keep it clean.

If You Give An UnderAchiever a Handout……

December 8th, 2009 | By Sonnie

My daughter is now into reading anything she can get her hands on.  Her favorite books are: If you give a mouse a cookie…, If you give a moose a muffin…..  You know the books I’m talking about.  Well, I’ve decided to add my own to the title list.  Hope you enjoy.


If you GIVE an underachiever a handout……



…..He’ll never ask where you got it

And if you attempt to tell him…….


……It won’t matter because he feels entitled

If you question his entitled status…….


Uncle tom

…..Be prepared to get called out of your name

If you counter with facts…….


……Don’t be surprised they fall on deaf ears

Once you’re too mad to argue……

blame token

……Expect a nice session of BLAME GAME

Challange the rules of Blame Game……

politically correct

……And all of a sudden the underachiever pulls Get Out Of Jail Free card

So, you question the difference…….



…….Pointing out Government Provides Both

The underachiever grows silent…….


……Until you bring up JOBS

Then the Underachiever stikes a mighty blow

no job

……And while you’re tired from working two weeks with no day off

The UnderAchiever



…..Gets another Handout

Learn To Play Your Position: What More Can I Say?

August 19th, 2008 | By Sonnie

The Story

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Hope. Hope was having a very bad day. She got an A on her Math Test, but the teacher pulled her to the side and accused her of cheating. She got an A on her Oral Exam, but the class made jokes while she was speaking. She was allowed to spend her free period helping in the office, but the kids that were in trouble threatened her for helping the teachers process paper work. She was just having a bad day.

Then Hope goes home. She runs in the house to tell her mother about her day. The first thing her Mother says to her is, “Why didn’t you do something to your hair. You look Horrible.”

Hope tried to explain. “I had two tests to take today and I spent this morning studying. If I had spent time on my hair, I would’ve been late for school.”

Her mother replied, “You think you gon get something out a book? You better make sure you keep yourself up so you can find a Man to take care of you. You don’t want to end up like me.”

Hope was so confused, she to her best friends house. “Why weren’t you in school today? You know you missed two exams.” Hope questioned.

Her Friend answered, “I don’t know why you spend your time in school. I dance three nights a week and make over $5,000. You need to come and work with me.”

Hope couldn’t take anymore. She ran to the local playground. A post up boy saw her crying and approached. He put his arm around her and whispered ‘It’s alright, Ma. Don’t cry. You should be my girl and I’d make sure nobody makes you cry.’

Hope was tempted but she knew better so she continued on. Then she looked up at the Sky and asked Why?

Out of No Where, and Angel appeared. Hope was transfixed in disbelief. “Hello. I my name is Dream and you’re starting to piss me off.”

Hope thought to herself, ‘Oh No. Even the Angel wants to dog me.’

Dream came closer to Hope and began to speak. “Let’s start with your teacher. Did you cheat?” Hope shook her head No. “Then why are you letting her upset you. Does she ever smile? Do you ever see her in a good mood?” Hope shook her head No.

“Let’s move on. What was the topic of your Oral Report?” Dream asked. “How Black People Can Help Other Black People Succeed.”

“Did you believe the words you spoke?” Hope shook her head Yes. “Then you need to get some tougher skin. If you had the same opinion as them, they would probably still ridicule you. It’s not the message, usually it’s more about breaking the spirit of the messenger.”

“Your Mother. She is a lovely woman.” Dream uttered. “She has a job, owns a house, takes care of you, drives a BMW…”

“Yeah, I don’t get it. I study everyday, I teach myself new math, I do random science experiments, all in an effort to be like my Mom.”

“Your best friend is sliding down a pole.”

“Yes and I got Neighborhood boys trying to get in my pants. Do you want to hurt me more by making me repeat this day again in my mind.”

“Honey, Where are You?” Dream smiled.

“I’m in a dirty park, probably losing my mind, thinking I’m talking to a Ghost.”

“You are not in the house putting on make-up, you are not rubbing baby oil on yourself preparing to be groped by random Men; You are taking time to think about Me. Your dreams. You will not lower yourself for a Man because that’s Not what I’m about. You will continue to speak over criticism because My voice is Loud. You will start to SMILE when you face opposition because You’ve seen ME, and you know I’m Real. You will wait for a Good Man because You are Not willing to sacrifice Me.”

“Come with Me Hope, I want you to meet my best friend, His Name Is FAITH.”

The Point

Our dreams are never going to appear out of thin air. Our dreams are never going to fight for our attention. “All the world’s a stage, and all the Men and Women merely Players; they have they’re exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his act being 7 ages.” In other words, everyone will play their position. The question then becomes What’s your Position?

The Teacher

This does not just apply to School teachers. This applies to anyone who is supposed to supply knowledge, but takes offense when surpassed. Your Character’s focus should be on inspiration. When did it become more about your pride than their growth? Why try to bring them down a peg or two, when you helped them climb in the first place?

The Mother

Once again, this does not just apply to ‘Mothers’. This applies to people that have made it, but encourage you to follow a different path. They entered the military as lost souls, found themselves, came back knowing exactly who they are and what they want to be; but will tell you, there is nothing to be gained in the Military. They sacrifice to get accepted to a Great College, then instead of telling that story, they fight for Affirmative Action. Character is built through struggle. They struggle and succeed, then expect you to succeed without the proper sacrifice. Question Motives.

I just have to throw this in. I asked my Cousin; How many people in the hood do think would be good repairing a Helicopter? She laughed and said NONE. I didn’t laugh. I said, “How do you know, when they’ve never seen Helicopter, except flying overhead.” Little Lessons.

The Uninspired

These are the Name Callers. These are the ones’ who have nothing to say, but they want to be heard. They don’t want to listen but want your attention when they lay out their excuses. They know that things aren’t good, but they don’t know how to fix it; so They Do Nothing. Except criticize those who make an attempt.

The Forgotten

Every man plays different parts during his lifetime, but I’m sure all of us play this part at some point in time. Like that neighborhood boy. He could’ve been waiting for the next basketball game, but because of his location and appearance, Hope could’ve judged him as a Dough Boy. Like the Best Friend. How do we know she was stripping? She could have a part in Musical. She could be skipping school to improve her dance. They hire dancers on talent, Not on Grade Point Average. But the money amount would cause you to assume.

For what ever reason, we all get overlooked. It might be the color of your skin but it also might be the tone in which you chose to speak. It might be the fact that you’re a woman but it might have something to do with the way you carry yourself. It might be because your broke but it might have more to do with your broken spirit showing through. It might be that nobody cares but it might be everyone who does care; you criticize, you ignore, or you just treat as a Forgotten.

The Dream

I bet you taught this position wouldn’t exist, HUH? You thought it was the imaginary character. The disappointing fact, It IS. The plays that really need these characters find them none existent. The students who would have an excellent chance to excel in college but doesn’t have one person to help get them there. The boy or girl that gets beat up everyday in front of everyone because Gangs have more Respect than Police. The girl that sees a way out of abusive household by having a baby.

Where is their vision of a Dream? Will an Angel appear out the Thin Air and tell them which path to follow? Yes. We are out here, strong. We just haven’t found you YET. But don’t worry; The Calvary Is On The Way. We’ve been through your struggles and made it out. We’ve be judged, overlooked, kicked, then kicked again when we were down; We’ve been criticized, felt humiliated and lost, and scared to move forward. But we won’t stop because we know The Dream is Real. We see it in your need to question. We see it when you stand up when everyone else would have you on your knees. We hear you when you cry out for help. And we are Coming. If we’re not coming fast enough, then seek us out. I know I won’t turn you away, and I’ll assure you, I’m not the only one.

My Favorite Hope

We all have Hope in Us. Most of Us want Good Things for our lives. We hope to get a good job. We hope to find the right mate. We hope all our basic needs as humans are met. But some of Us don’t like the sacrifice it takes to get there. The price is so high, we focus on the negatives and forget about The Hope. When the Hope is gone, We fill the empty space with excuses.

But what if we stopped and looked at the people who were trying to take away our Hope. They say, those who can’t do, Teach. So if you’re surpassing your teacher, do not allow their words to stop you. You will be greater than them and they know it. If your “Mother” is Bitter and Angry because she can’t find a good man, don’t listen when she stakes your future on finding one. If you know some one has no hope, don’t waiver in yours because they insult you. But don’t Overlook them either. That may be the only way they know to ask for help. At least make an effort to be someones’ Dream. If they don’t accept it, Fine. God accepts your actions, not their response.


None of these things would be possible without FAITH. If you don’t have Faith, it’s a pretty safe bet your hopes and dreams are Lacking. Now I Love the Lord, with all my heart and soul, but that doesn’t have to be your source of Faith. It can be your refusal to make the same mistakes as your parents. It can be your acceptance that life isn’t perfect, but if I do right, I’m going to be Okay. But nothing feels better than dropping to your knees, telling God what pains you, and leaving that pain with him. Problems don’t seem that insurmountable. Haters don’t sound that Hateful; more envious. And Hopes and Dreams flood the spaces once filled with pain, then anger, then excuses.

I’m going to Quote Jay-Z. What More Can I Say?

Science vs Faith

May 18th, 2008 | By Sonnie

There are two main beliefs in the creation of the world.  Some believe the right gases mixed, we evolved, and this is what we became.  I believe God created the earth, and made us in his image.  I heard this story when I was young and it always stuck with me.


There was a woman.  She was burned really bad in a fire.  Her face bared the brunt of the scars.  She had a daughter that loved science, it was her passion.  Her mother worked hard to get her every advantage.

Her mother was so proud of her.  When she won an award for her brilliance, she was the first one there to see it.  She watched her daughter, strong and confident, take the stage and command attention.  She was so impressed.

Then came the speech.  Her mother sat there shocked, listening to her daughter credit science for the creation of man.  Before her speech was over, the mother got up and exited the building.

The daughter found her outside crying.  She wiped her tears and questioned their meaning.  The mother looked into her daughter’s eyes and wept.

Do you know how I got these scars?

The daughter had always wondered, but her mother had showed her so much love she hadn’t asked.  It just didn’t matter.

Well when you were a baby, our house caught on fire.  I had been working so hard, I didn’t wake up at the sound of the alarm.   Your cries finally woke me, but the flames were already in room with us.  I grabbed you, and I prayed.  God told me to move and I did.  I ran through the burning house with you in my arms and I didn’t stop til we were safe outside.  I never felt the flames on my face and body and not a single one touched you.

I thought your love of science would help the world, I never thought it would destroy your faith.

You should read my blog, Poetry: That feeling.   Then let me know what you think.