Big Brother Hayes Barnes and Little Brother Tristan have been matched since January 2019. Recently, they decided to read “A Black Woman Did That” together in their own book club to celebrate Black History Month. Check out the FAQ with Hayes to learn why he chose this way to engage in continued conversations about Black History and Culture with Tristan.
BBBSCI: What has been your favorite activity you and Tristan have done together?
Hayes: Building a fort in his living room! Fort-building was my favorite activity as a kid, so it was so fun to revisit my childhood. More importantly though, it allowed Tristan’s creativity to really shine.
BBBSCI: What are you most proud of about Tristan?
Hayes: I’m proud of how he has matured over the last 2 years. His relationship with his Mom has gotten so much stronger and he’s grown into a leader on his sport teams.
BBBSCI: Why did you choose to read A Black Woman Did That with Tristan?
Hayes: It doesn’t matter your age, race, or gender identity; the importance of learning the stories of Black women is essential. The world would be burning without Black women, and I want Tristan to have that awareness and appreciation in his youth.
BBBSCI: Is this the first time you’ve read a book together?
Hayes: Yes it is! It’s actually really hard to make the time, but we’re getting through it together.
BBBSCI: Is there anything else you want to add about Black History Month?
Hayes: I challenge other Bigs to not allow Black history and stories to last a month. I think Tristan is tired of me talking about Blackness at this point, but that’s a good thing. There’s so much history to learn for the both of us that informs our present and future. Lastly, it’s critical to highlight the power and joy in Black history, not just the suffering. Black history isn’t just slavery and civil rights. Limiting the conversation to oppression is actually perpetuating racism.