My heart hurts. It aches with the agony of knowing that no matter how much I try, your life could end needlessly just based on the color of your skin. The complexion of your skin in this day and time labels you as a threat. It places an unwarranted target on your back and will often cause you to be treated as a suspect…without cause. The part that sickens me and causes a huge pit in my stomach, is that I prayed for you to have milky chocolate skin. I prayed that your complexion would be deep dark chocolate brown. Now, this beautiful complexion I prayed for, could cause an untimely death by either a murderous cop or a self-righteous neighborhood watchman.
Your beautiful skin will place labels on you instantaneously. Some will think you are a thug, killer, or thief and will never enjoy the essence of your brilliance, creativity, hopefulness, or joy! My God, what have I prayed for and have I doomed you for life? Sometimes these thoughts run through my head and keeps me up at night. I toss and turn wondering if the white friends you are making today will either turn on you and/or leave you in the midst of danger because they either don’t feel it’s their problem, don’t know how to address it or understand it. I wrestle with our approach of raising you to be a strong, proud black man who is comfortable in his skin. How this will impact your life. Will this confidence lead to your name becoming a hashtag.
But then, I snap out of it and I’m reminded you are not a VICTIM because of the complexion of your skin. So, son, please know that my strength has been renewed and the fight within me has awakened. I want you to know that I have greater resolve to work towards creating a safer world for you and the black community. With every fiber of my being, I will speak out against injustices and work towards changing a system that has been built to destroy you. My son, you were created with a purpose. God has placed you on this planet because He has a greater calling for you. I see it. I feel it. And with God’s help, there’s nothing that will stop me for insuring that you fulfill His purpose.
You have taught me so much. In your own mighty way you’ve taught me to have hope even in midst of this black cloud hovering over our country. I talk a lot about #livinglifegratefully and I absolute do my best every day to do so, but sometimes it’s really hard. But your boldness and fearlessness inspires me to keep on going and that I have the power to make meaningful change! If after knowing and understanding there is a target on your back you are still hopeful and ready to make difference, then why should I let any of this get me down?
Basically, I’m writing this note to say thank you. Thank you for consistently walking in your purpose even at 7 years old. Thank you for your boldness, strength and courage. Together, our family, will make a significant impact in the destiny of our people in 2016. I love you and I’m ever grateful to be your mom.
With all my love, hope and dreams,
Mom (although I desperately wish you would call my Mommy again:-))