Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Plato Negro as Grandfather

Plato was a pitiful father. The theme of his tenure as father and husband was abandonment and neglect. And even when his children came around, they found him in a marijuana stupor, if not in a deep sleep while they visited. One child said, "Dad you got too many newspapers and too much smoke in yo house." In the miracle his baby mamas made of his children, Plato never had to physically discipline them nor raise his voice to admonish them. They were perfect children. Of course the mothers and children could have used his support. But he was lost in revolutionary thought. Some call it spaced out. In short, he was not able to make a balance of parental responsibility and social activism. And for over a decade drugs took a toll on him. His dad said he was so smart he outsmarted himself.

But he gave his children wisdom. When he taught at the university and community college, his middle school daughters graded his English grammar class papers. He taught his children Arabic. His son Abdul (now deceased, pbuh) graduated in Arabic and Near Eastern Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Damascus, Syria and a grad student at Harvard. Abdul El Muhajir was the physical and intellectual clone of Plato. Plato will never reach closure on the transition of his son. He has mentored many young men to fill the emptiness in his heart. And his daughters have made him proud as progressive, independent women. Even his estranged son, Marvin, is a success as well.

Plato has been blessed with four grandsons and a granddaughter. Some he rarely sees, but he has spent time with James, a little smart mouth who calls Plato a grumpy old man. Did James get his smart mouth from his grandfather? Well his mother, Nefertiti, is known to tell people exactly what she thinks. And his father is a lawyer who worked for ENRON before it fell. Kevin, who lives in Austria, was born on Plato’s birthday, May 29. Jordan is a reader, Jazmin, a track star. Jahmiel just made a year old. He too is Gemini, May 31. Plato has been around Jahmiel since he was born and finds him a joy. He is a happy child who bounces at the sound of music. His mother, Amira, is a lawyer, so God only knows what kind of smart mouth he shall be. Jahmiel has helped Plato heal from the grief of losing his son. His son was a world traveler who spent time in Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Egypt, Israel, Syria, and Europe. Plato cannot imagine what his grandchildren shall become. He can only look at them and wonder. But he can see by his own children that his grandchildren will not be limited by glass or any other ceilings. May the Ancestors be pleased.

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