There is something about letters that sets it self apart from other writings. Letters is personal and has this sort of “sacredness” when a someone pour his or her soul over pen and paper for a the letter reader. Mother to Son captures this spirit that letters possess.
In Mother to Son, Jasmine Holmes gsves her son Wynn through a series of letters addressing various topics related to being black and a Christian. My first impression to this book, since I sense the personal and “sacredness” it possess, I should be sensitive of what this book contains. As I start reading it, my impression was correct.
Jasmine covered a lot in these letters, From family tradition, heroes, slavery, and even her favorite poet, Langston. She keeps pointing to her son where do we fit in and how as Christians should live in flawed world with people within and outside the black community. By page 68, Jasmine gets into serious mode, specially how people use “just preach the gospel”. I think Christians do fell with those excuses saying it passively in phrase like “let’s pray for it” and we should repent to God for those words we sometimes don’t mean it.
As you dive further with the book, it gets more intimate. Jasmine tell her son how to treat fellow black people and the opposite sex in a backdrop of a dark history of the black people. She also made mention on sexuality.
As the book winds down, Jasmine write to Wynn on how to stand up by being an advocate and a bridge which is very insightful. She then tells that his story is unique but also he shouldn’t despise stories of other people or he will be guilty of tribalism. Mother to Son , is well rounded in terms of the advice Jasmine is giving. Spiritual and
Mother to Son is a must read not just because of the events happening today but you’ll feel the heat of the fierce love of a mother to his little boy and how the gospel intersect with it. Heart felt, honest, intimate, penetrating and fervent, these are the words that will drip from the pages of this book from start to finish. Jasmine definitely won me over with this book. If I would write my daughter a letter like what Jasmine wrote in this book, I think I’ll cry a river before I even write anything on paper! I think this must be the experience of writing Mother to Son. Highly recommended!
5 out of 5
(Review copy of this book was provided by InterVarsity Press)