Words to My Black Son
You’re not here yet and I don’t know when or if you will ever come to be. I just felt you on my spirit yesterday and decided to write. I was riding through the Edgewood area of DC and saw two young boys, one running and one riding his bike. They were boys…happy boys. Even in this light moment, I couldn’t help but think of Tamir. Tamir was a 12 year old who was shot and killed. He left behind a mother who I’m sure will mourn him every second for the rest of their life. I thought about Tamir, these boys, and then I thought about you.
No matter how dark your skin may or may not be; I’ll raise you to have a light spirit. A spirit that will touch anyone it comes in contact with and a spirit that lights up the room on the darkest days. But this isn’t enough for me to protect you. Even with the uncertainty of growing another human in your body and the dangers of childbirth , there is nothing as unforgiving as this country we call home. They will count you out before you even enter this earth and this saddens me. It makes me wish there was a way I could keep you forever in my womb but I know that too is impossible. But what is possible is that you may enter this world as innocent as a baby lamb and people will still hate you. Not only will they hate you but they will fear you. Because of this innate fear and hate, someone may try your life leaving me sonless and sunless with no light penetrating through my pain. I’m sure the day I find out that you are coming to be…I will be happy but I will grieve for all the hardships you will have to face as a young black boy in this country.
I've already thought about how I will conduct the conversations where I talk about racism, police brutality, and oppression but I’m sure it won’t go as planned. I can’t talk about being a black man but I know as a black woman I’ve faced my own issues. I’ve too felt the weight of having to be two times better than the people around me , feeling uncomfortable in a space where I’ve been made to feel as if I don’t belong, being the sidekick on ideas that were too great to be created by me but yet I’m still here. I’m here and I haven’t even given birth to my greatest creation yet which is you.
I visited the Motherland way before your birth and I sat in the same space where our ancestors had once been enslaved. Our people were kings and queens and I don’t want you to believe otherwise. I don’t want anyone to ever give you the impression that you came from weak people or even that you came from slaves. You came from people who were enslaved and to be a slave is only a mentality that I pray you never adopt. There will still be people even those who look like you who will try to chain and shackle you into this belief that you are something or someone other than what God has called you to be. I pray that you understand the obstacles that your people have overcome just to have you even be a thought.
Just know that in the midst of this world, you are loved. In the midst of a country that has showed their blatant disrespect for boys who look like you..you are valued. In a nation where you’ve been sold the dream that you can only play basketball or football, you are more than your athletic ability. You are a king. Historically, people with power are always hated. I believe the same is true for little boys who look like you