Marita Golden, in Saving our Sons: Raising Black Children in a Turbulent World, is on a death watch of a different sort. Counting the deaths of those lost in youth is very different from counting the deaths of those who have had a chance to live a long life, who have had a chance to savor the good and the bad that life brings, and who have had a chance to provide a thread from the old to the new, to link one generation to the next. What is lost when we lose our young?
Miss Golden's death watch has an immediacy and cogency because she is the mother of a Black adolescent male. In her words:
"As the mother of a Black son, I have raised my child with a trembling hand that clutches and leads. I am no slave mother, my sleep plundered by images of the auction block. I dream instead of my son slaying the statistics that threaten to ensnare and cripple him, statistics that I know are a commentary on the odds for my son, who isn't dead or in jail. And though I have paved a straight and narrow path for my son to tread, always there is the fear that he will make a fatal detour, be seduced, or be hijacked by a White or Black cop, or a young Black predator, or a Nazi skinhead, or his own bad judgement, or a weakness that even I as his mother cannot love or punish or will out of him."(p. 7)