By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A teen used this time during the pandemic to continue his family’s tradition of writing letters and he turned it into a passion project.

At just 15-years-old, Ocir Black is a published author.

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The North Carolina high school sophomore loves to run track and spend time with his family. It’s a bond that inspired his book exploring raising Black sons in America. When asked if he fears for his safety, Ocir says, “of course.”

“No matter how smart I am, no matter what I am doing in my life, like my mom said, the first thing that people see is my skin color,” he said.

Ocir’s book, “Love Letters to My Son,” is a collection of letters written by nearly a dozen Black mothers, including his own.

CBS News reporter Elise Preston asked Ocir’s mom, JaMese Black, about why it is important to affirm your children.

“Oh my! The affirmation starts with me,” Black said. “I need to ensure that in spite of what the world tells my children, they are clear in who they are.”

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Race isn’t the book’s only focus. It also discusses mental health and financial literacy, topics Ocir’s late grandmother often addressed in letters she wrote to the family. Ocir says the letters “were encouraging.”

“They kept you going. It’s one of those things that you could always look back at,” he said.

Ocir hopes his book will speak to a diverse audience.

“Not just Black moms, not just sons, but I really just wanted people to understand the mindset that mothers are teaching their sons,” he said.

He hopes maybe to inspire families to share words of wisdom in letters of their own.

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Ocir is already working on a second book of letters. This one will include responses from sons to their mothers. Team