I am a black woman who married a black man and as a result we bore black children. We did not just bear black children. We bore black boys who will eventually become black men who are American citizens. As a mom, I dream big dreams for my boys. I imagine them living grander lives than I and accomplishing all of their hearts desires. Today the lyrics of a song my husband posted to his SoundCloud page stung deep: “dead bodies we don’t mind, keep scrolling down your timeline.” This was a song inspired by the death of Alton Sterling. I must admit I’m one of the ones that keeps scrolling down my timeline, ignoring the injustices that I can’t escape being made aware of. I do this because I don’t like for everything to be about race. I know my personal experiences as a black woman say otherwise, but it still leaves a gross taste in my mouth. I also know there is no such thing as black and white, there’s always a gray area. I further know that there are two sides to every story, but tonight I also know that it’s not fair!!! It’s not fair that I have the added obligation to teach my sons that if they come into contact with any police officer they should be extra extra respectful like over the top respectful in order to avoid possible death. Here’s the other thing I know… My dad was once one of them! I know other men who serve and have served on the force, and I know they are not all bad but I also know that it’s hard to tell the difference. I have not cried tears of sorrow like I did tonight.
(Image above from @MrMedina‘s Instagram Page)
Today I took my boys to a beach in a city that has a population of 1% African Americans. I share this with you because, while I did look up that fact I didn’t need to. I felt like the odd man out. I drove through a neighborhood that I daydreamed of living in while realizing it’s not very likely that I ever would. This, of course, not necessarily having anything to do with the color of my skin. However, it can’t be ignored that the type of black people we see living inside of these types of homes are celebrities… Anyway, when we got to the beach there was little to no one there, but as the morning progressed the beach filled up with lots of people that looked nothing like me. Eventually the day progressed even more for me to be able to see a couple of faces that reflected my skin tone. It sucks, but such observations like these happen almost daily. Not sure why I’m sharing this, but maybe it’s relevant. We ended up having a wonderful day that ended with Theo reporting, “Mommy, I had fun!” I love it when he tells me that. My heart’s desire is to give my children a variety of experiences (in a variety of places) that will enrich their lives and broaden their scope of interest. I never want my boys to feel as though their limited by what they can do, feel or experience because of the color of their skin.
Their melanin is beautiful and they will grow up knowing this!!!
There’s a long list of what we have to teach our children from brushing their teeth to paying their own bills. When you break it down by gender that list gets even longer. I look forward to going on dates with my boys, so they know how to treat a lady. I look forward to watching their father teach them how to tie a tie. I look forward to helping them with their math homework. I look forward to teaching them how to play tennis, and enjoying other recreational activities with them. I don’t look forward to the conversations we will have to have in regards to interacting with police officers. I don’t look forward to them being confronted with the same injustices that are being blasted down my timeline. I don’t look forward to them having to see families hurt through the news networks because their father was killed by a police officer. I don’t look forward to them having the opportunity to see (whether they want to or not) a man being shot to death. It’s not fair. I think about my white friends or even my friends who have sons who are mixed and not as dark as mine and I wonder do they look ahead to having these same conversations. I know I can’t answer that question without explicitly asking them, but I imagine they’re not thinking about these same conversations. It’s not fair! It’s just not fair! The bottom line is that I must teach my children to love God and to love people. Maybe… just maybe if my only contribution to this world is children who choose love over negativity & if there are other parents who are actively pursuing this idea then maybe in the words of my husband, “our children will outnumber the children of evil.”
Love God, Love People! #raisingChocolateBabies
Hey, hey! I'm Yvette!
I'm a thirty-four year old wife, mother of four, podcast host, and writer from San Diego, California. I'm a former math teacher turned stay-at-home parent and influencer with the unique opportunity to bring women into community with one another and encourage them in their seasons of life through my podcast, Yvette, Unplugged and my online community, Women, Unplugged.
More about me!