Recently, I finished Daniel Whyte’s second book for young black men, it is titled “Mo Letters to Young Black Men”. Below is a short list of my highlights from the book. The first book has 25 letters just as the second book. This second book is focused on the relationships you will have with your mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, women, wife, friends, racism, and God. If you enjoy some of my highlights, please make sure you share the book with someone raising a young black man and have them to discuss the details of this book as well as the first book “Letters to Young Black Men”
Mo Letters to Young Black Men by Daniel Whyte
OH! THE MISTAKES I’VE MADE Letter Two
- The first big mistake I made as a young man was having sex before marriage.
- The second big mistake I made was not taking my early education seriously.
- In my mind, school was a place to tolerate, a place to skip, a place to run the girls, and a place to have fun. Oh, how I regret not taking my schooling seriously. Because I didn’t, I had to play catch up when I got older.
OH! THE TROUBLES I’VE SEEN #1 Letter Three
- I “loved” women too much and all for the wrong reasons. The truth is, I didn’t love women for who they were, but for what I could get from them.
WOMEN FOLK! #2 Letter Seven
- 1. She should be a help to you and not a hindrance. If she is tearing down everything that you are building up, she is not worth having.
- “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him” (Genesis 2: 18).
ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR WIFE OR WIFE TO BE Letter Eight
- First, you ought to get married because in this life it is good to have someone special to help you and encourage you along the way. A good wife can be that special someone and thus can become your best friend. Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 states: “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”
ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR FATHER Letter Nine
- 4. Love your dad. For some this is easier said than done. I say that because many young black men have been hurt because of painful past experiences regarding their dad. Here is how you can love your dad no matter what has taken place in the past— choose. Yes, you have a powerful tool and that tool is choice. First, you must choose to forgive.
- My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me. —Jim Valvano
- The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.
ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR DAUGHTER Letter Eleven
- Notice with me the great value of a daughter. Besides your wife, no one can comfort you and cheer you like your daughter. Throughout your life you will find that: (1) She will be there for her father even when no one else will be there; and that (2) There is a special love in her heart for her father that, often times, cannot be shaken by anyone or anything.
- As her father, you have the opportunity to help shape her and mold her into being a great woman of God, as well as a great wife and mother, because you can give her some advice on these things from a perspective that her mother cannot. In you, she can see what a husband and father should be.
- From time to time, take her out, and spend time alone with her. Your daughter will remember and cherish those experiences long after she is grown and on her own. 3. Love and treat her mother right. The way you treat her mother will make a lasting impression on her, and will help her in her relationship with her future husband.
- Tell her you love her often. One of the greatest gifts that a father can give his daughter is a sense of love, belonging, and security.
- The most important thing that a father can do for his children is to love their mother. —Theodore Hesburg
ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR SONS Letter Twelve
- Do not take having a son lightly. This is a very special gift in your life.
- Here are some of the benefits of having a son: (a) He will carry on your name; (b) He will carry on the, hopefully, positive things that you instill in him; (c) He will more than likely carry on your resemblance so that when people see him, they see you; (d) He will teach what you have taught him.
Here are some suggestions as to what you ought to do with your son:
- 1. Pray with your son and for him daily.
- 2. Spend lots of time alone with him. As you know, there is this running controversy, as to whether or not parents should spend quality time or quantity time with their children. In my opinion, you really cannot spend quality time without quantity time. Therefore, I have chosen to live a lifestyle that would allow me to be there for my children. You can’t just fit your children into your schedule. Your children are [apart of you.] your life. Sometimes your children just need to see you there in the house. 3. Talk with him. Really talk with him. Get into your son’s head, and let him get into yours. What I have found helpful, when I am with my sons, is to talk about something that is interesting to both of us.
- 4. Teach him biblical principles, and give him wise counsel regarding life. The best thing I have ever done with my sons, and all of my children, for that matter, is to read the Bible all the way through with them, and teach them the principles therein.
- 5. Work it out so he gets the best education possible.
- I share with my sons this life principle: work hard and then play hard.
- 7. Be genuinely interested in what he does and what he is interested in. Help him develop his gifts. Find out what your son is good at and encourage him to become the best he can be.
- 8. Praise him for his good accomplishments, and encourage him where he may be failing. All of us know the value and power of praise.
- 10. Teach him good manners and respect.
- 13. Love him and tell him so often. It won’t take away from his manliness
YOUR BROTHER Letter Fourteen
- 6. Challenge and encourage him to do better and greater things with his life, and to strive for spiritual gain instead of material gain. 7. Most of all, love him unconditionally, and stick by him through the good times and the bad times. Don’t be condemning, rather be encouraging.
ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR FRIENDS Letter Fifteen
- b. Listen to friends, but think for yourself. Don’t allow your friends to think for you.
- d. Forget trying to be popular and having a bunch of friends. You will find in life there will only be a few who turn out to be your “ace-boon-coons”; that is, a “friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” So, work at developing strong relationships with these friends.
ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILDREN STILL Letter Seventeen
- ***First, people sometimes call the child born out of wedlock, illegitimate. In my opinion, it is not the child that is illegitimate; the parents are the ones who are illegitimate.
- Fifth, do whatever it takes to take care of the child.
- Seventh, whether your child is with you or not, pray daily for him or her.
- Eighth, if you can spend time with the child, then spend as much time as you can with him or her.
WINNING OVER RACISM Letter Twenty-Two
- Second, do not get ruffled by racist/ prejudiced people. If you get ruffled now, you will be getting ruffled the rest of your life. Always be cool, calm, and collected,
- do not allow yourself to become bitter… Don’t let them get into your head like that. They know that a man who is filled with anger or bitterness cannot function or prosper that way.
- rioting, fighting, burning, and raising hell is not the way to deal with racism. All that does is drive the root of racism deeper. Avoid such asinine activities.
ON BECOMING COLOR-BLIND Letter Twenty-Three
- America is a multicultural society. America is not just made up of white and black, but of all colors, races, nationalities, and tongues. If you are going to be a leader in this country, you had better shed your “black thing” mentality and become color-blind in your dealings with all people.
- Prejudice is opinion without judgement.
WHEN THIS LIFE IS OVER Letter Twenty-Five
- “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” —Revelation 21: 8