Life literally is a tight rope. One wrong move..BOOM. You’re falling and praying the landing is a soft thud rather than a smattering of body parts.
I wrote that brief intro before the passing of our beloved actor, Chadwick Boseman. As of this current writing it is clear to me that for many of us we have fallen, our body parts have smattered and now we are left with the job of carefully putting our parts back together again.
Black people: I beg you to do so lovingly . Take time with yourself and others. Allow yourself some grace. Be kind to yourself. Chadwick succumbed to his fight with cancer not too long after we had to watch from our screens the shooting of yet another unarmed black man-this time his young sons witnessed this horrific act in real time as they were in the vehicle. There’s no doubt in my mind these young children will need years and years of therapy and overall support in order to heal from the trauma of witnessing a police officer repeatedly put bullets into Jacob’s now paralyzed back.
As a mother to a very young son, it amazes me that those whom coo and smile at him now have the power to one day hunt him down simply due to the amount of melanin found in his skin.
I’ve talked over and over again about how I want to be one of those parents that know what their child is capable of both good and bad. I recognize that I can’t overindulge Harper or spoil him too much. I already know that he needs to one day be an independent man fully capable of taking care of himself. My daily prayer is asking God for the mental and physical well being I will need to raise him into a kind, responsible and productive part of this society. And of course when I take these moments to talk to God a small voice says “Does it matter Anika? You can put all your blood, sweat and tears into raising a good man, a kind man, a responsible man and if they so choose fit they will rob you of this man!”
The very joys of watching Harper reach developmental milestones like crawling, holding an infant cup, acclimating to his loving childcare provider and even exploring foods beyond breast milk is always cut short when images of black people being literally hunted by those sworn to protect and serve continue to play on my timeline.
This is insane.
My heart hurts for all those mothers whom spent a lifetime teaching their children how to speak to law enforcement, a lifetime telling their children how they have to always give more than one hundred percent in all that they do to even be recognized along side their white counterparts, a lifetime of continually making a way out of no way all just to see their children get hunted.
We must continue to find it even in these times and hold on for dear life. We must still, even now with this clear reckoning find the joy and beauty within the chaos in order for our survival . The reality is: we deserve to not only survive but to thrive.
America: have you not taken enough black bodies, black joy, black excellence?
The culture you love, the people you do not.