An eye-opening look at one mother's determination to provide positive male role models for her son, and the power of great mentoring to change lives.
When MaryAnne Howland's son was turning thirteen she organized a "Black Mitzvah" rite of passage celebration for him. Max is one of the one-in-three children in America being raised without a father in the home. To help fill the father-shaped hole in Max's life as he transitioned from boyhood to manhood, MaryAnne invited four men from different corners of her life --an engineer, a philanthropist, a publisher, and a financial planner--to become Max's mentors.
Max has faced many challenges. As a boy without a consistent father figure in his life, as an African-American male in a time when race relations in this country continue to be fraught, and also because Max was born premature and as a result has cerebral palsy, he has had to be a true warrior. On the brink of manhood, his mother wanted to give him the benefit of men who could answer some of the questions she felt that she, as a woman, might not be able to answer. Through his adolescence, Max's mentors have shared valuable insights with him about what it means to be a good man in the face of life's challenges. These lessons, recounted in this book, will serve as a powerful roadmap for anyone wishing to support boys as they approach manhood.
About the Author
MaryAnneHowland is the founder and CEO of Ibis Communications, a branding marketing solutions firm in Nashville, Tennessee. The success of her business has been recognized by the Clinton administration and she has attended several summits at the White House. In 2012, she launched the Global Diversity Leadership Exchange, a forum to facilitate dialogue on diversity, sustainability, and inclusion, which has held annual summits at the New York Stock Exchange and the United Nations. MaryAnne is currently running The Warrior Rising Mentorship Masterclass Series on BlackMitzvah.org.
“They say it takes a village...and while that may be true, sometimes it takes an army of men to bring a boy beyond the shadow of adolescence into the harsh daylight and truths of adulthood. ‘Warrior Rising’ is a book for our times.”
—Erika Alexander, actor, writer, producer, entrepreneur
"At a time when it is sorely needed, Warrior Rising inspires hope and offers a roadmap to raising our young men to more than survive, but thrive as confident and successful community builders and leaders. MaryAnne provides us with a close up and personal story that illuminates the role and impact we as men have on the future of all of our sons, and our daughters as well.”
—Michael Powell, president, NCTA
"I wish I'd given my son a Black Mitzvah. When thinking about all of the incredible men it was an honor to work with throughout my years in the music business, all who could have personally shared their own life lessons with him, I can only think of the tremendous added value it would have brought to the successful man I'm so proud to call my son. I think I was a good father to my son, but if there were anything more I could have done, it would be to have given him a Black Mitzvah. When MaryAnne described the rite of passage she had created for her son who she is raising on her own, I was moved to tears. Recognizing immediately that this is something from which every young man could benefit I suggested she write the book and this is it. I recommend it for every father, no matter what race, culture or religion.”
—Jim Ed Norman, musician, record producer, arranger, CEO, Curb Records
“As MaryAnne Howland reminds us, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ But it takes a child to raise a village. How many adults hear and understand the calling of youth today to be initiated? So they learn not only the rights and responsibilities of adulthood, but come to know the psychic death and soul rebirth necessary to accomplish that transition? MaryAnne Howland heard the call, rose to the challenge, and blessed us all with a roadmap.”
—Frederick Marx, co-writer, Hoop Dreams, warriorfilms.org
“MaryAnne Howland’s poignant and powerful story of the birth, delivery and raising of her son with cerebral palsy is a milestone in the developmental psychology literature. The range of emotions I felt about her and Max's trials as a mother and son gave me a small glimpse into what a parent of a child with a disability might feel. Read this book once, twice and then pass it on to parents and educators who want to understand what infinite love is all about. A true triumph.
—Dr. Raymond Winbush