There are so many childless mothers and fathers and fatherless children for no reason other than being Black or making a mistake while Black. Since when are we allowed to KILL for a mistake---whenever there is in fact one that has been made? I think about myself and so many of my Howard University educated friends and no matter how many degrees or promotions we earn, no matter how many houses we buy, happy hours or brunches we attend, in spite of the fact that we pay our taxes and mind our own business, we still have yet to reap the benefit of merely being able to exist without the possibly of being gunned down for nothing more than living while Black. We cannot wear a sign that says I have a PhD or that I am just trying to get home safely to cook dinner for my family. My body literally tenses when I see police car or police lights flash behind me even if they are just passing me by. I fear the police more than any "gangster or drug dealer" I have ever encountered in the Black community.
However, despite all triumphs of our people and the privileges that are no longer alluding some of us, we continue to find our people at the end of a police officers gun. This has left me bewildered. I love Black people and so many proclaim to love us. Yet as we continue to see numerous white murderers walk free and even try to make a profit off of our extinguished lives, I am disheartened.
I hurt for my son who will eventually have to navigate even more realms than me as a Black man in America. Eventually his cuteness will fade and he will be another Black man that people will fear and try to tear down. No amount of good manners and following the rules can protect him. He will never be afforded the opportunity to enjoy the freedoms or make the same mistakes as his white friends. I remember praying for him to be "light skinned" when I was pregnant with him in an attempt to protect him from at least some of the many of the injustices targeted towards our Black men. But that of course could save him. Teaching him to be respectful, feeding him organic foods, and making sure he does well in school cannot save him. I want to instill in him the ability to be free-thinking, assertive, and kind. Why can't that be enough for my Black boy? Every parent wants their child to be happy and healthy but as a Black mother, I think over and over about how I just want my child to remain ALIVE. A simple yet complex request in the America we live in today.
|Artist: Debra Cartwright|
All in all though, I just desperately want my baby boy to be able to grow up.