Dr. Kevin D. Barnes, Sr., author of the bestseller “Successfully Raising Young Black Men” and Pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church, held the First Annual Conference centered around his book earlier this month. The event included guest speakers, Bishop Bob Jackson of Acts Full Gospel Church, Dr. Harold Mayberry of First AME Church and Life Coach Gloria Brown, who all offered their parental advice about the importance of being there for your kids. Over 200 people attended the conference.
After concluding a national book tour, Dr. Barnes said, “I was tired of doing funerals of young African American men. I decided to write down the principles that I used to raise my sons to help other parents. Those same principles can be applied for daughters as well.”
Chapters like “Spending Quality Time”, “Recognizing Their Talents and Gifts”, and “Hugs Will Prevent ‘Thugs’ ” promote expressions of love and support from parents to their children. He said, “The small act of embracing your child can make a big difference.”
“You have to show your kids the great potential that they have and you’ve got to hug your kids. This young man came up to me and said all he wanted from his dad was a hug and to hear him say ‘I love you,’” he said.
Raised by a single mother in Louisiana after his father passed, Barnes advises, “If the father is not around, get a surrogate father that the child can look up to and get them involved in positive things. Even though you were raised by a single parent, don’t let that be an excuse.”
Barnes says he is continuously motivated by his own sons, which are musicians at his church. Attendees walked away from the conference with a signed copy of Barnes’ book and his inspirational message that read “with the help of the Lord, I can be a better parent starting today.”