Schooling His Son? April 7. Preorder Now
Watching his son as the sergeant led them through the facility Kent could see Kente was spooked. He had asked a former classmate, Sergeant Walker to provide them with a realistic tour of the facility. He needed Kente to see the real thing. Kent noticed Kente was fascinated with rappers, gang culture and movies and he wanted him to see the repercussions up close. He recalled trying to be hard, thirty-three years ago, when he was fourteen, but times were different. He also noted Kente had gained a desire to wear only blue and black.
When they walked into the huge wide-open shower room and though clean, it was rather smelly, Kente looked ashen. There were also open toilets where one could be viewed as he used the restroom.
“Why are the toilets open like that?” Kente asked.
“Because this is jail not a private home.” Sergeant Walker responded. We want this to be a real jail experience so hopefully some of these knuckleheads stay out of here.”
He then led them into a big room filled with tables and chairs where kids ranging in ages from twelve to seventeen were in line for a meal or eating.
“Get a tray.” The sergeant ordered and Kent looked to his father who nodded for him to obey. Now he looks to me, Kent noted with humor.
The meal was bologna sandwiches, tapioca pudding, lettuce and tomato salad and milk. Kent wanted to laugh out loud at the distaste on his son’s face. He watched him take a seat, and how the other boys sized him up. Kente returned the looks before praying over his food.
One of the young men, said, “Oh snap, we got a church boy in here. He was brought in by his daddy or is that just your mama man?” Kente turned to the boy and said, “He is my blood daddy and he is married to my mom, in fact he was married to her years before I was born. What you got?”
The other boys laughed at their friend, who narrowed his eyes at Kente who didn’t flinch or look away.
He isn’t as soft as I thought, Kent thought to himself. He could see Kente could hold his own; he was just spoiled and privileged. The boy looked away first and Kente focused on eating his sandwich, salad and milk. He refused to eat the pudding.
“He has lots of heart.” Sergeant Walker said to Kent. Kent nodded in agreement.
Later in the car, Kent asked Kente what he thought.
“It’s a jail dad and not a cool place. I guess though that for some of the brothers in there it’s probably better than where they live. Over off Myrtle Ave and some places on the Eastside are worse than that.”
Kent flinched at his son’s words. Kente was very astute, much like Cina in that way. Kent hadn’t even thought of that component.
“Are lots of your friends like that?” Kent asked as he turned down the radio. They were on Interstate 75 headed to Valdosta.
“Some are. Some are like me, some in between. Mama said being from the hood doesn’t make you hood. It’s what’s in your heart.” Turning to look at his son, Kent felt bemused.
“You and your mom talk about stuff like that?”
“Dad, mom and I talk about everything. You know mom; she cares about everything. Me and you the most.”
There was nothing to say to that.
That night they had a meal out and Kente went to bed early. Kent knew the juvenile facility affected him more than he could admit.