For Black Boys

Today’s Black History spotlight is remembering two black boys…Emmett Till and Tamir Rice. As a mother of a black son I constantly think about the effects of racism in this country and how it will show its ugly head as he grows. My struggle to conceive him was overcome the moment I heard him cry. I carried him in my womb until my body could no longer support him being inside me. He was my first and last thought as I was rolled into the cold operating room.

That fear never went away. It was replaced as I started hearing about our black boys being murdered. You see, I lived a sheltered life and thought that only black boys that were gang bangers were being shot. This doesn’t happen in the suburbs.  Until, Trayvon Martin.

I paused.

How quickly a child’s laugh could be replaced with a mother’s mournful cry. A cry filled with so much pain that I can only try to stifle that growing and gnawing pain in my own stomach. I can’t imagine losing the little boy that I prayed for. That I carried in my womb ushering in his life.

Trayvon’s death helped me see that this world hadn’t changed much. That people will still judge you by the color of your skin. People will assume no matter how many degrees I may have or how much money I make or the nice cars I drive or fancy neighborhoods that I move into that my son doesn’t belong there. Because he is black.

Times have supposedly changed but they haven’t changed enough. I try to hide the target on my son’s back everyday that I send him to school armed with the items necessary for him to succeed…a book bag, his school uniform and lunch box filled with all his favorite foods. Notes, I think. Don’t forget to put that note in his lunch box telling him how much you love him and you’re so proud of him.

Because if you do…

You just want to make sure that he knows. He knows that he’s beautiful. He’s smart. He’s loved.

No playing with guns. No video games. Nothing that could ever make him a target. I buy him name brand clothes. Spend my hard earned money buying from shops that some of his peers can’t afford. My only child. If I hide him then they won’t see him right?

I’m doing it because I love him.

The same way that Emmett’s mother loved her son. The same way that Tamir’s mom thought that letting him play outside was okay. Both were children who didn’t come home one day. Children who will never graduate high school. Get married. Have kids. Have a future. Mother’s who felt the emptiness in their wombs from the loss of their boys.

I vow to remember the names. The countless names. I vow to try to change the system. I vow to remember that our history, Black History is America’s history and we have to do better.

Emmett Till – July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955

Tamir Rice – June 25, 2002 – November 22, 2014

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12 thoughts on “For Black Boys

  1. very touching and true, I was so proud of our country with we elected our current president, I, being white and having always lived in the north assumed that it meant that our county’s racism was finally a thing of the past… I didn’t know how wrong I was… I apologize for my naiveté…. I can’t image what black moms and dads go through thinking that the very people who are supposed to protect our rights as not only citizens of this nation but as human beings can be the very ones who shoot our children… I know not all police officers are like that but even one is too many… I didn’t realize how far from understanding the blight of our fellow Americans I was until I had a romantic relationship with a black man. I still can’t say I understand or know what it is like having never lived it but I do now know that I need to know more do more to stop this horrible treatment of MY fellow human beings by the cops or anyone else… your little boy is the cutest thing ever! I love the pictures you post of him 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Tamir Rice’s murder just broke my heart. It was all on video! That’s why these police body cameras are useless when the system is broken. I can’t imagine what Ms. Rice is going through.

    Then Trayvon Martin… omg! I remember listening to the audio of what happened that night. That haunts me. He was screaming for help. Now people want to blame him for his own murder. smh. Black people need to come together and say “Enough is ENOUGH!”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your post affected me. I am so sorry that you and your son have to live in our country as it is today. Through my church, my family and friends and our institutions, I hope we can make this a nation a place where all children and people are safe regardless of their race. As a mother I can relate to all that you do to keep your child safe. I can only imagine the pain and fear that you must experience as you watch him grow up and enter more and more into the world. You are wonderful to talk about this. Everyone needs to hear this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you so much for saying that. I’m hoping that we can change this. We need to change this. No mother should ever think that her child won’t come home, but for black mothers it is so hard to see them walk out the door.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, we do need to do better. I have to admit your posts make me think. My son is part Cape Verdian but most of the time people think he looks Spanish. I guess I wonder if I am naive in thinking he isn’t/won’t be discriminated against. There are times I get nervous and do tell him he needs to be careful because I know his mouth can runneth over! It’s even scarier now that he is an adult. There was one time we got pulled over and he was in the passengers seat with his hood up and the police asked for his id etc. I swore it was a racial thing. My son was the one who tried to blow it off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think it’s naive. I think as parents we just want to know that are kids will be okay and that the country will just accept them regardless of their skin color. But, I fear them wearing hoodies or anything that would make them appear to be a threat. Why should we live in a society where our children could be considered a threat but the clean cut child molester can live right next door and nothing happens?

      Liked by 1 person

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