Dear Fat Boi,

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about you and the impact that you had on my life.  You were more than my mentee – you were my best friend, my lil’ brother, my son.  Despite being so young, you helped me to remember the wisdom that lies in the souls of black males long before we are “granted” manhood status and forced to put on America’s (mask)ulinity. 

Like everyone else, I chose not to give you your flowers while you were here with us because I didn’t want you to stop grinding to break free of the generational chains that imprisoned our family and our peers.  For that I apologize, and I want you to know that everything I do will be to honor your name because you were destined for greatness. 

Just know that I will never give up trying to make the world a better place for black boys to grow up and discover who they want to be rather than surviving who their circumstances have told them to become.    

Together, we were able to resist the external pressure coupled with the internal demons to forge a different path.  Despite your untimely death, I have continue to push through because we all deserve to be free, to be loved, and to dream beyond those created for us.  

All I ask is that you continue to watch over me, especially in those moments when I want to give in or give up.  But most importantly, make sure that I never lose my way because we both know what lies ahead.   

Until I see you again, I promise to continue to Live, Learn, and Move On!

Love Always, 

Big Bro