‘Love Letters To My Son’: How George Floyd Inspired a North Carolina Teen to Write a Book

George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis inspired 15-year-old Ocir Black of Winston-Salem, NC, to collect poignant letters from Black mothers to their sons. (Graphic by Denzel Boyd)

By Max Millington

March 29, 2021

George Floyd called out for his mom. The tragedy moved North Carolina’s Ocir Black to collect letters from Black mothers to their sons.

While many were trying to find books to read during the pandemic, Winston-Salem high school student Ocir JaRon Black wrote a book titled “Love Letters to My Son.”

With the help of his mom, JaMese, Ocir worked on the book during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and collaborated with North Carolina moms, asking them to write letters to their sons. 

Following the killing of George Floyd last summer, Ocir was inspired to create the book in order to help change negative perceptions about Black men. 

“He wanted to find his own space during the (Black Lives Matter) movement,” said JaMese. “And he wanted to find a way to do it, in a sense of reflection versus an automatic response.”

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“Love Letters to My Son” addresses race, mental health, and financial literacy. The book was also written from mothers to sons of all ages. 

The idea was inspired by Ocir’s late grandmother, Sallie Morris-Redd, an educator from Virginia who used to write letters to the family.

“I wanted this book to teach people…what mothers have to teach,” said Ocir. 

Ocir, a student athlete and tutor, says he wants to be a criminal and civil rights attorney.

Ocir and JaMese are currently working on a sequel which features letters from sons to their mothers. The book is scheduled for release this summer. 


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