Current Events

Head In The Sand

I drove home from work today thinking how buried my head is in the sand; not to be keeping tabs on the Michael Brown riots. I couldn’t even get the city and state right where it happened in right! I blamed it on this hot weather, blamed it on opening of schools stress, hell I even blamed it on the price of gas! And then I knew–I was really blaming it on my fear.

Fear of allowing my heart and mind to go to recesses of my psyche and have yet again have this one-sided conversation about race, police, violence, culture, education, our black boys. I’m just tired!

Tired of having the old discussion with my BLACK husband about raising our future BLACK sons with the knowledge that this world does not have a BLACK boy’s best interest in mind. Tired of feeling fearful for my friends who birthed and are raising beautiful BLACK boys. Tired of yet again having to confront our society’s flaws. Tired of acknowledging an educational system that sets our beautiful BLACK boys up for failure, of broken homes that eventually break them, of a penal system that harkens back to days slavery.

Once my heart rate returns back to normal, I’m back to my reality. I can’t be anywhere else trying to protest or get arrested! I got sixty children that along with me and my colleagues, we are welcoming this coming week. Sixty middle school boys and girls we are planning to nurture, teach, and help grow holistically. Sixty children whose parents are entrusting us with their care.

My heart bleeds for the Trayvons, Michaels, Abners, Amadous, of our society. For the weddings and graduations that will never take place. For a mother’s loss of her child. It’s incomprehensible.

Come Monday, my head won’t be in no sand. It will be up and out ready to face another school year. Praying, interceding on behalf of our children. Trusting God to impart in me what I need to impart in them. Believing that at age 17 and 18, their names will NOT be on an obituary but on a graduation program.

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Current Events, Family, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized

Little Black Boys

I have always been a sucker for little black boys with beautiful eyes and gorgeous smiles. Something they all seem to have at that age. When they grow up to be handsome young men I am thankful to say I knew them when.

Not all of our little black boys are making it into full manhood safely these days. Of the many that came through my doors in my years as a school social worker, I can count on only a few set of hands how many made it to post secondary education. College education for me isn’t the litmus test but it represents a safe haven and a sifter for the many black men who have managed to beat the odds that are stacked against them. College is that holding place where I would know that both learning would take place and that for a moment in time, our black males can be held safe.

I spent half my time jamming common sense and wisdom down my youngest brother in law’s throat during his adolescence years. Angry the day he came home wearing a long baggy white shirt instead of the uniformed ones that were waiting freshly pressed in the closet. You look like a thug crossing that bridge to school on Miami Beach I said. Me and his brother, my husband, would have knock down drag out debates on how to best reinforce pro social behaviors. Society won’t be too friendly to him and we have to prepare him now I said.

He spent most of his days rubbing elbows with children of TV executives and diplomats and most of his nights on the football field. We kept him too busy and too tired to care about much of what was taking place on the block. Yet on that winter break when he was home from college and tied up with other friends, detained by police down the street, we would remind him that you can’t take everybody where you’re going. When a friend of his, another college student, would witness a childhood friend shot and killed right next to him, we remind him yet again, you need new friends.

No child should have to be told that they have to forsake their childhood friends. No child should have to be told to stay away from their running buddy, the friends who they rode bikes with and enjoyed living out their youth with. Yet it’s become our reality.

I worry about my brother in law sometimes. I worry that he is losing his core identify as he slowly loses friends. They aren’t all dying but they are dying little deaths in the form of drug abuse, a life of violence, and social immobility. Relationships he formed are slowly losing their depths as his quest for personal achievements and dare I say survival takes precedence.

Our roots are what keep us grounded and as more of our young black boys’ blood seep through these concrete streets, those who are left behind begin to stand alone.