Joan Walsh wrote a book titled “What’s The Matter With White People?” One might argue the same question could apply to Black people. Interestingly, the answer to the question about Black’s may be embedded right here in this book. The title alone says a lot. […]
Author: Ralph Harper
Protests in The United States of America has its place; but, not against the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election. Our system is simple and fair. Any person 35 years of age and a natural born citizen of the United States qualifies to run for […]
Wow! What an amazing experience today – speaking at Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy in south Dallas. While I have spoken at the school before, with each encounter I’m impressed and inspired. Today I was inspired because I was filled with a keen sense of […]
After all the 69,498,516 votes had been counted and verified, this young boy (Jacob) still needed unquestionable proof this man, this President of the United States of America was like him. So while visiting the President at the White House in the Oval Office, Jacob said to the President in a soft and subtle voice… “I want to know if your hair is just like mine.” President Obama responded by leaning over and saying “Touch it, dude!” And that’s exactly what Jacob did. Then the President asked… “So, what do you think?” Jacob responded… “Yes, it does feel the same.” And there you have it. With a simple touch of the President’s hair, Jacob has single-handedly proven the current President is real and that ANY boy in our country can grow up and become President of the United States of America. Priceless!!!
I was just eight years old growing up in tumultuous Birmingham, AL. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I connected with my friend, Anonymous, earlier than usual – around 9:00 AM. We left our neighborhood and spent almost the entire day combing the surrounding […]
A straight-talking memoir about a stepfather’s sometimes rocky but always loving relationship with the blue-eyed stepson who stole his heart.
In his lively debut, Harper, an African-American, doesn’t dwell on racial differences between himself and his stepson, Cody, whose biological father is Caucasian, but skin color isn’t really what makes this relationship unique. What stands out is Harper’sheartfelt bond with Cody-the two met when Cody was 3-and his determination to remain an active stepfather, even after his marriage to Cody’s mother ended in divorce. With an amiable voice, the author cobbles together the story of his life with Cody over the years, discussing child-rearing topics, especially discipline. Harper doesn’t claim to be an expert on the subject-his methods were sometimes spur-of-the-moment attempts to teach Cody “life lessons.” Once, he paddled Cody, and he now seems to regret it, since he spends a great deal of time explaining it.
When the precocious Cody wouldn’t take his schoolwork seriously, Harper forced him to write “My education is my number-one priority” a thousand times. There’s some rambling in the narrative and quite a bit of repetition as Harper drives his points home, but the overall story remains vivid. The author also analyzes underlying emotional reasons why he stayed in Cody’s life: “My relationship with Cody has turned out to be an amazingly important personal journey for me because, sadly, my other children became victims to certain women’s respective ‘right to choose.’ “Additionally, his relationship with his own father in Alabama wasn’t ideal. Regardless of whether readers agree with Harper’s personal views or parenting style, most will agree that he admirably filled a role which Cody’s biological father, who rarely enters the scene, did not. Harper’s central message is not that families with blood relations are better than blended families; rather, this is a soapbox call for fathers to “man up” because, writes Harper, children need them, and it’s never too late to make amends.
An earnest, touching story of a man and his stepson.
by Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC
Harper uses stories from his life with his stepson to illustrate broader ideas about fatherhood, such as discipline, respect, and consequences. Stepped Up melds Ralph Harper’s memoir about life with his stepson, Cody, with a declaration of the importance of fatherhood. The book offers a […]