Bettye Blaize talks about doing time with her son
March 23, 2017 | By Lynn Pinder
If you ask Bettye L. Blaize about the new book she co-authored with her son, Terrence G. White, she is quick to tell you that this project was more than 10 years in the making. Their book, “Doing Time With My Son,” is for anyone concerned
about the impact of incarceration on individuals and families. The co-authors, Blaize and White, are gearing up for the official book signing scheduled April 1,
2017 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. in Baltimore at Govans Boundary United Methodist Church located 5210 York Road.
Blaize’s son received a 10-year sentence about 12 years ago for a crime he committed. While coming back from Hagerstown after a visit with him for the first time, she struggled to wrap her head around how they were going to survive a decade of this. It popped into her head that she would make the experience a journey and document it over time. “The name, Doing Time with My Son, popped into my head because I don’t think people realize when a loved one is incarcerated that all of his loved ones are doing the same time,” said Blaize.
She had already decided that her role was to help her son get through those 10 years and come out successful. Blaize shared that the journey for her started out not feeling so good about her son who was raised in a loving home and who got himself in a bad situation.
“It took me a minute not to blame myself for some things. Once I realized I had done all the right things, it was easy for me to be there and support him. Support him meant letting him know that he did something wrong and not me. I was committed to keeping the dialogue open with him. When I realized that I didn’t have to fill all those orders, it was freeing. I told him you are not in college. This is what you chose to do. What I did was send him a piece of mail everyday. Keeping that communication open to let him know that he had something to come home for. Once we got through that, it was not as hard to journey to visit him and to laugh with him there. I made each visit a fun day for him. He wasn’t looking for me to beat him up and to continue talking about what led him there. We passed that and moved on,” explained Blaize.
It wasn’t long before White realized that his mom’s idea was something of interest to him, too. Blaize stated that once he understood why she was going to do this, he got very involved collecting information from other inmates to add to the book. While incarcerated, White worked with Dr. LaMarr Darnell Shields and David Miller to launch a youth challenge for young boys doing time in the same Hagerstown Correctional Facility. Blaize said that her son wanted to help these boys reverse their thought process and to help them make their time beneficial. Read More