Prior to the resurgence of white officers taking the lives of Black Boys and Men, my Hubbs' and I regularly had conversations with our Son prior to going out with friends. Those weekend trips to the movies always stressed me. I didn't know if he would be a victim of police brutality. Or if some Racist would pick an altercation with him and/or initiate a situation to provoke him. Will that white woman that switches her purse opposite side him as they pass one another, know how great a human he is? Or will she see just a 'Black' face?
That gentle face covered with hair, aligning his now masculine face.
No longer those chubby cheeks that I love to kiss.
As I lovingly kiss his cheek every night before bed, I realize the threat he is to the racist bastards that represent the oppressive mindsets that they use as fuel to sustain their false reality of being superior.
It’s been interesting, enraging, infuriating, a myriad of so many emotions. Yet, I’ve remained unabated as it pertains to instilling in my 'Black Son' that his voice matters. And that it is his responsibility to advocate for himself. When I tell you the number of times Hubbs’ & I have had to back his advocacy. It’s a SHAME! White Privilege has created a reality for some that Our Boys are not supposed to ask questions, inquire when thingZ are not in alignment. Essentially, when shit’s not right and our 'Woke Black Son' challenge the use of White Privilege.
The experiences we’ve had with our 'Black Son' has ranged from his Kindergarten teacher attempting to label and categorize him within the first week of school. What the teacher failed to do was get to know her student. She advised Hubbs’ and me that she didn’t think our 5-year-old son was really ready for school.
The big part of this story is she had not read any information about our Black Son. Why do you say that you may ask… LBVS! What she didn’t know was that our Son had been in school, in a kindergarten room ½ days w/ Northglade Montessori since he was three and a half years old.
Said teacher labeled our 'Black Son' defiant because he questioned the lunch lady about how she was speaking and treating him. Specifically, as it related to the little white boy that initiated the matter, not receiving any type of consequence. Then, there was the fifth-grade teacher that told him he would never amount to anything because she didn’t appreciate his candid/raw responses to her questions. Or to our 'Black Son' asking why she assumed his profession of choice will be Basketball Player. During this same conversation, she also referred to our Son living in the 'hood'. To which he responded, I do not live in the 'hood'. Oh, then there’s the time his teacher wanted him to be responsible for the behavior of all the Black students in his class. When our advocating Son asked why it was his responsibility. The teacher began retaliating……
I could go on, but for what?!
It is part of the plight of Mothers and Fathers of BLACK Sons.
Hubbs’ and I knew we had to make sure our 'Black Son' was afforded every educational opportunity and exposures. In doing so, ‘Raising’ a 'Black Son' that is confident, intelligent, articulate, humble, a Good Human...And a competent and contributing member of society.
We continue to ensure our 'Black Son' is well-rounded. Growing, we did everything possible to ensure our children didn't fulfill stereotypes. #weathering For instance, we made sure he could swim. So much so, that he could very much be a member of the swim team. LBVS!
Tennis was his Sport through fifth-grade. This kid even Ball-Ran for the K-College Annual Tennis Tournament. Lowkey, I’m still trying to get him to go out for the Tennis Team. Additionally, he wrestled and played Basketball through the eighth-grade. His Sophomore year of High School, our 'Black Son' made the basketball team. Talk about a let down when it comes to other Black men positively influencing the lives of Black Boys. We (Black People) really have to do better. That hot-mess would be a 20 minute read...So serious!! And considering the times we're in, they could have made such a positive impact on the lives of each youngman. #missedopportunies
So, you get my point, we tried to ensure exposure to 'All ThingZ'.
My Hubbs’ and I have always been clear with our Son; as far as how he may be viewed by the world as a Black Male. And as he ages, Hubbs’ has discussions with him specific to Being A Black Man. #thestruggleisreal
As we continue to raise and influence the life of our 'Black Son', Our goal is for him to know the realities of the plight of being Black in America. However, not allowing those realities stifle his success. And most importantly, his Wellness: Mind, Body, Spirit & Soul. Additionally, we are raising him to know that he can be at any table he so chooses. #BlackExcellence
Now at 16 years of age, my 'Black Son' is now seeing the HATE of his very existence; Our very existence at levels Beyond Reason. Unimaginable. Yet ever so REAL.
Personally, I am vowing to be a part of addressing, updating policies/laws; that are embedded with systemic racism matters. As a Black Woman, I will fight at all ALL costs for the Rights of Black People & most definitely for my 'Black Son'!
White People that are 'TRUE' Allies, when you’re seated at Tables that influence changes to Laws and Policies; that maintain oppressive verbiage, be the Voice to ensure ALL perspectives are heard. Be the VOICE!
We all have integral parts in the 'Revolution 2020.
Let’s be Intentional & make Change Happen!
Pray for your specific role in this Movement. Ask God to guide you and allow your paths to cross with those that are a part of His Plan. What will you do to be Intentional & Make Change Happen?