The past two weeks have been heavy. Heavy in the sense that I don’t know if I’m holding my breath or if the world is trying to knock it out of me. As a black woman who is the daughter of a black man, a mother raising two black boys who will become black men, raising my black daughter who will become a black woman, as a wife to a black man, a sister to four black men…I just CAN’T!
The war against black men is so real. Let me be clear…the war against black people as a whole is real but today, I’m focusing on our black men.
Seems like once a week we’re hearing about another death…another hashtag… ANOTHER life to mourn… and ANOTHER reminder (if I ever needed one) to hug my husband tighter and love on him and our children, harder. Simply because what if today is the day the world decides to take them from me?
When I think about George Floyd’s daughter and the difficult conversation her mother had to have with her, my heart aches. Looking at my sweet baby girl, who is three now, I don’t know how I’d explain something like this to her. And the reality that the world doesn’t love her either.
My sons are 10 years old and the youngest is almost 4 weeks old. How much longer can I protect my almost preteen from this cruel world? This harsh reality that the world doesn’t love him, his daddy, his brother, or his step-dad? Not to mention his uncles and/or any other black man he’s close to. How do I explain that? Forced to have a tough conversation that I know he might not truly understand. One that we’ll continue to have, teaching him how to protect himself if/when he encounters a racist. Giving him practical steps, that may or may not save his life.
That’s a harsh reality. Knowing he could do all the right things and still have a fatal outcome. I look at my sweet baby boy knowing that at some point the world will no longer see him as cute but as another enemy.
I don’t really know when that transition takes place, but all I do know is we can prepare. Seems like we’re constantly preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. We protect and inform our children until they can protect themselves. And even when they’re older…I’ll still be around praying over them as they continue out into this world. More importantly ready to show up and show out if needed.
I told my best friend a part of my struggle with my sons is that though they both are black, and as much as I hate to say it, they both may experience racism at some point in their lives. The reality of that is, due to their complexions one will be more likely to experience it more blatantly than the other. But, that’s a conversation for another day.
The thought of this breaks my heart. I honestly don’t know how to fight this injustice. I’m praying without ceasing but struggling with what action to follow up with. All while trying to keep my mental in check during such a crazy time.
Let me ask y’all, how are you holding up? How are you keeping sane while dealing with all that has been happening? Are you taking a moment to recharge? More importantly, what are you doing to recharge? Know that you can’t change the world on E. It’s important to take care of yourself while you’re out fighting the good fight.
I saw someone post that it was ok to take a break and realized that I needed to. I had to force myself to unplug because it was all becoming too much. I refuse to live in fear but admittedly the past couple of weeks have been wearing me down. I wanted to stay in the know but really needed a break. I needed to hold on to the light that I do have… like God’s love and unchanging hand during such an uncertain time. My black family and friends… loving on them a little harder than I did the day before.
Hearing my daughter say “We match mommy, we’re all brown” brings me so much joy. I want her to love her brown skin forever. I know this world will try to give her and her brothers a thousand reasons they shouldn’t. So I’ll continue to encourage them, giving them a million reasons they should continue to love their skin and culture.
Also, I realized you can “keep your foot on the gas” and take a moment simultaneously. Sometimes the moment you take to regroup, will provide you the clarity you need to take the next step.
I believe there’s a shift happening, I’m just hoping that it’s big enough that we start to see the change we seek. Please remember to get out and vote. Protesting ultimately means nothing if we aren’t hitting the polls.