I originally posted this for the Orlando Moms Blog but was told that this post was too political to share on their platform. I ended up leaving OMB as it appeared that other contributors were allowed to write about this. But when I did it, my post was a problem. It was intended for mothers (hence the use of the word ‘mama’) but I’d love for everyone to take a peek inside of my life as a Black mother raising Black children.
I thought about making a Pinterest-worthy post sharing the fun time my daughter and I had re-creating Starbucks’ The Pink Drink. I also wanted to write a funny post about how my son is 8 months old and STILL doesn’t sleep long stretches – and how I’m sick of being a zombie. I totally knew how many other mothers could relate to that madness. I mean, motherhood and its duties run my day every day. Some days, however, I feel the heaviness of raising a Black son. And sometimes I want to talk about it.
Remember my last post on how I talked about my fears of having a Black son? Well, he’s here now and my fears continue to magnify.
Quick stats for you – I’m a Black woman, I’m married to a Black man and I’m raising a Black girl and a Black boy. All four of us have dark brown skin, thick hair and hickory colored eyes. My family is beautiful. People marvel at how eloquent my daughter speaks and they love my dimpled faced little boy. My children are joys and the light that shines from their eyes prove this.
My son is cute now. You see, I’m not oblivious to the fact that I live in the very same county where Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. My husband travels to and from work in different cities and states multiple times a month. He is a stranger in many places and as law abiding as he is, I know to others, he is considered a threat just because of his existence.
I can’t ignore this, mamas. This isn’t something you forget. I suppose it’s easy to forget about the deaths of unarmed Black boys and men when Facebook headlines disappear and the news stops talking about it. I am reminded every minute I look into the faces of my Black son and My Black husband. Oh, I try to forget. I envelop myself in their love. I hug them tightly. I nurse my son from my breasts and know that under my bosom is the safest place he will ever be. I pray for my husband when he’s up and down the streets and tarmacs. I pray that the people he crosses paths with see him as the gentle man that I see him as. I pray that I have the strength to distribute love in my family even though I break down and go through mental hells each time I hear one of these news stories. It gets so bad that I have to deactivate my Facebook account just so I’m not hit with the sads every single time I log on. This is a lot to deal with with and trust me, I’m not the only parent, Black or otherwise dealing with these sentiments
Black Lives Matter and I know it’s not easy for everyone to understand. I get that some many feel it’s exclusive. I know it may be hard to see those three words and if you’re not Black, question, “Well…doesn’t my life matter, too?” I get this because I know how it feels to be left out. I know how it feels to be the only Black person in classrooms, offices, and at events. I know how it feels for my child to be the only Black baby at playgroups. Being left out doesn’t feel good.
Consider this, though…the sentiment behind Black Lives Matter didn’t come about without reason. Black Lives Matter is a cry for help. It shouldn’t have to exist because yes, you’re right…all lives absolutely DO matter. Staggering statistics and this thing called reality tells us otherwise.
Black Lives Matter is a screaming infant begging to be heard. Black Lives Matter doesn’t want you to assume that no one else matters but at this time, in 2016, in this very moment, for now…Black Lives NEED TO Matter.
If the concept is still difficult for you to understand, please don’t hesitate to get more information about the mission behind Black Lives Matter. Email me. Talk to a friend whose opinion you trust and value. Open your mind and your heart. Talk to your children about it. Let’s provide awareness and age-appropriate discussion with the little people who we are raising now but will later be our County Commissioners, teachers, police officers, pilots, and engineers.
They’re looking up to us and right now and as a people, I can’t say we’re being the best examples. All’s not lost, though. It’s uncomfortable and it hurts but we can’t ignore this.
Please don’t let me do this on my own. I need your help, love and support.