Oh 2020...Did you hear me? I said 2020! You would think that after years of our ancestors being murdered, tortured, and discriminated against we would be able to live in a world that has grown in a way that racism no longer exists. We would have grown in a way where I wouldn’t have to fear for the lives of the black men around me; my son, my husband, my family, and my friends. It’s tough knowing that just because their skin illuminates these variations of BLACK that they are seen as a threat. These beautiful black men, these educated black men, these amazing husbands and sons that are black men, and these wonderful fathers WHO. ARE. BLACK. MEN. Unfortunately, they seem to all be a threat. No matter how amazingly awesome we know them to be, they are a threat. No chances given and no sympathy for the lives they might leave behind or the impact that they could have on their communities. Being black - that’s a big ass pill to swallow.
In 2020, to have to explain to our young black children what was explained to our grandparents and to their parents is beyond me. Mentally our children are in a confusing and vulnerable place. They are able to see what’s happening as easily as we can. It’s broadcasted on all of the social media platforms, all news outlets, and in our own backyards. Our children are trying to gain an understanding of something we can’t even fathom. How do I tell my children that Ahmaud Arbery was only going for a jog and died of blatant racism? How do I explain that George Floyd, screaming for his mother and saying he couldn’t breathe while dying on the street with a knee on his neck, was the result of his attempt to buy something with a counterfeit $20 bill?! Was it about the offense or was the actual offense the color of his skin? I don’t fully understand and my kids will look to me for all the answers. My daughter is trying to gather these thoughts of everything and put them into words. My son, who is only 5, trying to put 2 and 2 together as he listens to me explain what happened to Ahmaud Arbery when we pull up to my aunt’s house in Brunswick, Georgia. He says, “The one from the news??” Our children are suffering just like we are, if not worse, and in many different ways. My only hope is that I continue to give them the space to voice their emotions over everything that’s happening.
I want to end this with a penned letter to my son...
I look at you and smile. You’re so compassionate and free-spirited. You don’t care what others think of you because even at this age, you know exactly who you are at this moment. You don’t mind helping. Most times, you give your last to your sister even after your sibling rivals. You are the most brilliant and bright little black boy I know. Your enthusiasm for learning everything you can is unmatched. Your inquisitive behavior will never go unnoticed because you won’t let it. If you don't understand something you automatically stop any and everyone for an explanation and won’t move on until you understand. You are so awesome and I am so grateful to be your mother. Even though you are all of these things, you may still grow into a man who is seen as a threat because of your skin color. You may still get the talks that your grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents had to get from their parents about racism and police brutality. I hope to never get a call that you are another name. Because I know like so many other mothers, I will go to war for you and your sister too. I would not rest! I will not rest! I will forever be the protector of you both and would go before you to ensure your safety before my own. I love you and your sister endlessly.
Love forever more,
I pray that everyone has an amazing week in spite of. You are not alone in your anguish. We are all in this fight together, to be seen as no different than the next race. And we are all standing in the gap for our BEAUTIFUL BLACK MEN.
Until next time,
Peace and Love ❤