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A Letter to My Children

Dear Children, 

One day driving home your dad asked me when we should talk to you all about how the world really works. Perplexed at the idea that we would have to intentionally rip away your innocence by planning a timeline to share with you how the structures of this world don’t benefit you because of the color of your skin and your mere existence, I couldn’t really formulate the answer. I knew then that there were some harsh truths that I could face for myself but not really wanting to have to face them for you, at least not yet because you are only 7 and 9 years old. 

You cannot walk around in an affluent neighborhood because you don’t belong there.

For instance, I knew that I would have to tell you my dear son Khamryn, that you are smart, and a very loving and gentle human being. However, because you are a black male, your make-up is husky and you'll carry the exact same build as your father, people will be afraid of you. They will see you as a threat son. Unless, you play a sport, like football, and become a star athlete, but even then if you call them out on their racist practices like Colin Kaepernick, you’re right back to being a threat! I knew I would have to explain to you that you can't afford to be a bit shy as you are when it comes down to people questioning you because your silence can be perceived as a threat. I knew that one day, I would have to tell you that although your parents aspire to provide you with the best life possible you cannot walk around in an affluent neighborhood because you don’t belong there like Martin and Arbery and your presence is perceived as a threat. Although we teach you not to be a coward, you will not be able to fight back even if they are wrong because your right to protect yourself or even ask questions will be perceived as a threat like Brown Jr. And Floyd.  You will one day want to drive but if ever pulled over you must be respectful, have all your documentation, show both your hands, not carry any weapons even if approved, don’t carry anything that looks like a weapon and that still may not be enough but know your family will pray every day that you will return home safe unlike Philando Castile, because even your right to due process, fairness, and equity can be perceived as a threat! 

You’ll have to work ten times harder than your counterparts. 

My dear sweet brilliant daughter Jayden Rose don’t fret these rules apply to you too. Unfortunately, mom and dad don’t get to leave you out. I knew that we would have to tell you to be extremely careful not to commit any crimes because  the shocking truth is that female prisoners receive astonishingly way less support than men, if any at all because your presence is ignored. You could easily get locked up and in a matter of hours with little to no communication “die,” like Sandra Bland. I knew that when you wanted to start driving, we would have to share with you to always monitor your surroundings, not to really go anywhere alone, and always check your door handle before entering your vehicle because the world  is stealing our young black women, sex-trafficking, killing, then disposing of their bodies once done because your mere body is easily forgotten. I know that you aspire to be a Police Officer, Computer Coding Programmer, or even a Preacher like mommy as you often say, but I hate that we have to share with you that you’ll have to work ten times harder than your counterparts to achieve your goals and even still when you are off duty, in your home you could be killed like Breonna Taylor. 

We serve a God that is concerned about YOU, in your full essence.

My dear children, I knew there would be countless examples that we could give that still would be hard for you to comprehend at your age. I can't tell you why the world is like this - the only things I can offer you are wisdom and hope. I can tell you, take everything to God in prayer, because we serve a God that is concerned about YOU, in your full essence. I can tell you that there are no emotions too strong that God will not encounter with you. No question too hard that God will not allow you to ask. No lament or burden too deep that you cannot give to God. Even though the thought of your mere existence is a perceived threat in many ways, your parents chose to believe in a God that is concerned about everything that concerns you! Our King is seated on the throne and one day His justice will ring out through the earth.

Love, Mom

Photo provided by the author.  


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