I love my blogosphere of moms – we are of all opinions, nationalities and backgrounds! We connect, relate, and uplift each other on our journeys and experiences through motherhood. It’s my online utopia.
But in reality right now, I’m hurt and I’m angry.
For the second time this year, two white men deemed it their liberty to shoot and kill young black boys in “self- defense” in the same state I take my two Black boys to visit their grandparents. Two young boys who were unarmed and almost half the age of their killers somehow instilled fear in these armed White men and were thus gunned down.
I’m sure you remember Trayvon Martin, who was armed with only a bag of Skittles and a tea and yet was gunned down by George Zimmerman. And then, a couple of weeks ago, it was Jordan Davis playing his music too loud in a convenience store parking lot that attracted Michael Dunn who shot his hand-gun 8-9 times into Jordan’s SUV.
When Trayvon was killed, African-Americans were so stunned by the audacity of it all, we wore hoodies, bought Skittles and rallied for weeks until Zimmerman was arrested. With the death of Jordan, I’m hard-pressed to find much conversation on the matter. And now Zimmerman is making money off of his signature to support his legal defense. His signature.
There’s just no stock or value in the lives of our young Black boys and I’m disgusted.
These were two boys still matriculating through high school, when the graduation rate for African-American males is only 52% . Two boys whose moms were doing the best they could to raise their sons – like I am. They probably struggled to potty train them (like I have), kissed their cheeks (like I do), found a way to pay for sports gear (like I have), and poured into them dreams and aspirations to do something with their lives (like I try to).
But how are we supposed to protect our Black sons? Do you tell them things, like how to act around strange white men – say yes sir and no sir. Look them in the eye. Don’t look them in the eye. Call 911, don’t talk back … because a law allows crazy white men to own guns and shoot you in self-defense of their own ignorance.
Black boys kill Black boys too. I still grieve for Bobby Douglas who was senselessly beaten to death by other Black boys – one of whom will now spend the rest of his life in prison.
Recently, there was a show that aired on TV One (‘where Black life unfolds’) called Save My Son that cast a positive image on the value of young Black males. Educator and author, Dr. Steve Perry reached out to Black boys who had fallen through the cracks and were making bad, life-impacting decisions that could end their life and the lives of others. Yet, Dr. Perry – along with athletes, entertainers, and community volunteers – gave these boys options. He gave them LIFE.
Now, the life of this movement is in danger of being snuffed out. I guess riveting, compelling, REAL Black family drama that may SAVE our sons just doesn’t sell as much as reality shows about glorified rappers with lyrics talking about killing our sons. That’s confusing.
So, where does that leave moms of Black boys? As a Black mom to two sons, what can I do?
My husband and I will continue to pray our boys, invest in them, sacrifice for them and guide them the best we can.
However, when my boys become teenagers and walk the streets of their own neighborhood or play music at a convenience store, they’ll be viewed as men. And someone – perhaps even another father – will look at my child and not see the lifelong investment and value. And that someone may even have a gun and governance that would justify him using that gun.
And that makes me an angry Black mom.
Is it just me?
- 3 Chics Presents: Trayvon Martin, Gone But NEVER Forgotten (3chicspolitico.com)
- “The Hunt is On, and Brother, You’re the Prey” (jackandjillpolitics.com)
- Black Community Must Protest Stand Your Ground Law To Protect Black Youth (thebuzzcincy.com)
- No Country for Young Black Men (thetalesofawriter.wordpress.com)