Bernice Elizabeth Green
This writer’s association with Barry L. Mason of Mt. Vernon, NY, started at CBS in the late 1980s when he was the single father of one, Da’ Nelle (“Day”). Now, with his financial expert wife, Jacqueline Mason, he is the father of three, Day, Nefertari, and Amanye, and grandparent of two, including the toddler above. The Masons’ interest in organic involvement in raising their grandchildren is beyond trends or the familiar conception of gift-giving as a legacy-related continuum. Theirs is more pragmatic as well as heartfelt. “If ever asked in the future by the young people around me now, ‘What did you do in your time to help me with mine?’, I can honestly reply, ‘We shared as much time with you as we could.
“Opportunities to involve young people in positive, safe learning experiences may not be everywhere all the time, but they can be found,” Mason said yesterday. He also shares mentoring time with other OTP family members, among them apprentice writer/artist Chelsea J. Williams, 16, whose review of an exhibition of Kwame Brathwaite’s “Black is Beautiful” exhibit appears on this page, and established Bronx-based artist Michael SaintClaire Bush, 27, covered in OTP (October 29-Nov. 4, 2020, Vol. 24, No. 44).