Black Boy, Don't Cry: Chapter 1
“Here’s your beautiful son,” the nurse said, as she placed a newborn boy into his father’s arms. The father, Andre Douglas, smiled at his son. Overjoyed and full of love, he whispered to him, “I love you so much.” He gave his son a kiss on his forehead, then he passed him to his wife, Erica Douglas. She smiled at him. She gave him a kiss on his cheek, looked back at Andre, and she asked, “We still naming him Tyreke? Right?” He smiled at her, as he happily replied, “Yes indeed.” The doctor then announced Tyreke’s date and time of birth, “Alright, so young Tyreke was born Friday, April 12, 2002, at 4:30pm. Congratulations you two on the healthy baby boy.” “Thank you,” they both gladly replied.
“Look at this boy go,” Andre shouted, smiling from ear to ear, cheerfully proud of his son. Tyreke had begun walking. “Can you believe he’s only 8 months and he’s walking like he’s been doing this for years?” Erica exclaimed. Proud of her son’s accomplishments of walking at such a young age.
“Did he just say what I think he said?” Erica asked Andre. “Yeah! He just asked for you,” Andre replied. He was somewhat sad because Tyreke’s first word was not dad. But he was proud, nonetheless. He proudly declared, “So, he started walking at 8 months, and now he’s talking just a week after turning 1. This boy is going to be someone special one day.”
When Tyreke was in kindergarten, he was often praised by his teacher for being able to grasp the material quickly as well as his ability to behave extremely well. Because of this, his teacher asked his parents if they would approve of Tyreke taking a test to move up a grade. They agreed. When he took the test, it was discovered that he was indeed ahead of his current grade level and was therefore skipped one full grade level.
Before Tyreke even started school, he developed a love for the game of chess. It started when he was only three years old; his father loved chess and would often play against his friends. Andre was a very solid player, and when he would play, he would often notice Tyreke sitting around watching him play, even when Tyreke was as young as two years old. Around the time that Tyreke turned three, is when Andre decided to take young Tyreke under his wing and share his knowledge and love of chess with his young son.
The moment Tyreke would see his father pull out the chess board, he would come running. Andre would be playing against one of his friends and Tyreke would scootch up on his father’s knee and watch as he played.
Andre always thought it was cute that his son wanted to watch him play, and initially, he did not believe that his young son was watching to learn how to play, but rather he believed that his son, at only two years old, was simply wanting to be in the presence of his father. And like any good father, Andre would let his son sit on his knee and watch him play.