Recently, due to a very publicized tragedy of another law official being acquitted of all charges surrounding the death of a young black male, I decided to have a genuine discussion with my teenage sons about how they felt about being black in today’s world. It was disheartening to hear my boys say, that they feel as if they always have to be extra cautious when playing outside because of the color of their skin. To elaborate further, I have never been a fan of toy guns and reframed from buying them myself but personal reservations haven’t kept others from giving them to my boys as gifts. My youngest son stated that he only plays with his toy gun in the house because he doesn’t want a police officer to think it’s a real gun and shoot him. The gun is bright red with an orange tip and realistically there is no way of mistaking it for a real firearm. I couldn’t tell him that his reason was silly, although a couple of decades back my younger brother played innocently enough with silver cap guns in the front yard with his friends with no incidents.
This is now and in today’s reality, he has a reason to be fearful. As a parent, there is nothing more heartbreaking than hearing the fears of your children and not being able to give them comfort or defer their fears because you share their same fears. How do you tell your black sons that there is no target on their back when there is a target on their back. I try to be pretty straight forward with my children especially my sons because I don’t want to ever leave them under the false pretense that life is fair because it’s not. I also don’t want them to go about life as if they are owed something because of what their ancestors went through. I do want them to understand that their lives matter. Black lives matter, and it’s not just a captivating catchphrase that someone came up with for attention. The conversation prompted me to capture the moment of what my sons are faced with and try to leave them with some sense of encouragement through an art form. Words that they can return to through periods where they feel defeated and know… that their mom was rooting for them through every adversity faced.
Son’s I lead you with this…
My Black Sons
This world will try to tear you down and make you question your worth.
This world will try to break you down and make you doubt your faith.
This world will try and shape the perception you have of yourself by always projecting negative images of who you are and what you stand for.
This world will try to twist your words and poison your mind and leave you feeling as if you cannot make mistakes.
This world will try to hide who and where you come from and put emphasize on the oppression you have faced and label you as doomed.
Tell you, you’re not needed here and who you will grow to be.
Make you fearful of what you will become if you react to injustices placed before you.
Make you feel like a caged animal that has to constantly fight to get some type of solidarity
This world will make you think that because you are black you are tarnished and being born with brown skin means you are a failure….
I will be here to encourage you and prove how this world is a snake pit of liars.
Surround you with a love that is strong enough to keep out the naysayers who say you can’t.
Show you how mistakes are only hindering to your life if you don’t learn from them and strive to do better, be better.
Help you to block out the noise that tries to threaten your existence and make you feel like a second class citizen.
Explain to you the journey of those cut short by this world and how their journey was not in vain
And remind you that all things are possible through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ no matter how others may see me.
Remind you that this world is just temporary and we are simply just passing through
Remind you that you come from a legacy of Kings and Queens and black is beautiful and always will be.
Remind you that no matter what picture the world paints, you my sons, are warriors and will not fall victim to who they want you to be. But be who you were created to be against all odds.