We know that you have seen what has been going on in the world regarding our black bodies. We have talked, but the truth is, it has been hard, terrifying and exhausting for us. The ugly reality that we live in simply because of the colour of our skin and not the content of our character has been weighing on us in the past few weeks like an albatross.
Dr. King wanted better for us. We wanted better for you.
It breaks our hearts that we have had to speak to you about how to navigate yourself in this world as children of colour. If we had it our way, you would just be children. Allowed to laugh. Play. Dream. And eat lots of popsicles on the stoop on the hottest of days. Always popsicles cause they help you remember the fun times.
Instead we teach you how to code switch, to go high in the face of absurd ignorance, to put your hands up if confronted by a police officer and say “My name is…I am X years old. I do not have a weapon and I am not going to hurt you.” I am not going to hurt you. Saying that out loud sounds insane. But we will say it until it’s etched in your brains if it increases your chances of coming home. If you never have to say the words, I. Can’t. Breathe.
Do we want you to be scared? No! But we can’t be ignorant to the fact that society is not where we want it to be. So we prepare you the best way we know how.
As we use this weekend to reflect on Juneteenth, we also want to impart some other lessons that may have been drowned out because of the noise. In the wake of this chaos, we want you to know that you are valuable. Your life matters. Your voice matters. Black lives matter. And until they do the notion that all lives matter is inaccurate and false.
We are active participants in a movement that could rewrite the books your children will read. We will be on the right side of history. Do not dim your light. Stand up for what you believe in. Take up space and let people see your strength. Speak up for what is just and surround yourselves with people who actively do the same. Be the black girl magic. Be the black boy joy. Never let anyone trick you into believing that your black is not where it’s at. You come from descendants of Kings and Queens with an array of rich, melanin hues. Your black is BEAUTIFUL. Everyone knows it.
With time and change, you will be the dreams your ancestors never even imagined. And that will be phenomenal. Until then keep being you and unapologetically shine bright! And eat lots of popsicles on the hottest of days. Always popsicles.