This weekend, I was invited into the world of pure-bred Philly kids, aka, my roommates and their childhood friends. We journeyed the city together, from Brooklyn to the Lower East Side and shared laughs ignited by stories from the time they met to the present. After returning from a long day of carefree fun, we entered the subway and began discussing the one topic that seems to always be in the back of a 20-something’s mind, having children. From our discussion, I learned that in the next 5-7 years from now, there would be roughly 13+ children between the 8 us, 4 of which would Black boys.
These Black babies, would grow into young Black teens, and eventually become Black men. From there, the twists and turns of life would lead them on a path of being a son, the lover and protector of a Black woman, friend to other Black men, and Lord willing, a father to Black children. Still, years before their conception, our unborn Black children will be feared, stereotyped, targeted, and hated because of their deep Black skin given to them, against their will, by us, their Black, future parents.
And we, their future Black parents, will be known for living through one of the deadliest years ever measured, with over 560 people killed by police officers this this year alone, 136 of which were Black. The two most recent victims to be added to the tally, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.
We’ve heard both stories before; Black man is pulled over for a “broken taillight”. Black man has Black child and Black wife/girlfriend in the car with him. White police officer asks Black man to get out his proof of identification. White cop thinks ID that he requested is a gun, knife, threat to his white life. White cop shoots, murders on video in front of Black man’s family. World gets mad. No justice.
Second case: Black man is selling legal object in from of a store with permission, for years. White cop feels froggy. White cop uses excessive forces to detain compliant Black man. Black man get’s choked, shot, murdered on video, for all the world to see. World gets mad. No justice.
There isn’t much of a difference in any of these hundreds of cases. All were Black, all were murdered in cold blood. None received justice. So today, just half halfway through the year and only a month into summer, Black America has reached a standstill and many of us question, “What do we do from here?”
I’ve seen a number of post from Black women, young and old, sharing their fears of bearing a Black son in this country. I’ve watched videos and have read posts of Black men who express the sheer terror they feel of going through their daily walks of life carrying their Black skin. From these, I wish I could guarantee our safety, but I can’t. I wish I comfort these fear and assure that we will be alright, but I can’t. But what I can do is what I know to do and that’s pray.
The devil knows that his time to rule on this Earth is coming to an end, which means that things are going to get worst before they get any better. It’s scary to think about. And I’d be lying if I told you that praying through this chaos is an easy tasks while we watch news feeds and IG videos replay the the death of innocent men taken before our eyes. And that burning white affluent neighborhoods down, hating all white people, and going on a shooting spree to end all the #BlueLivesThatMatter, good or crooked, wouldn’t feel good. But in all of this, I am reminded of Ephesians 6:11-18:
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
And with that said, personal contribution to the movement, is to get on my face and pray.
We can be angry, enraged, and fed up all we want. It’s valid. But what I refuse from my people is hopelessness and nihilism, because the combination of the two will kill us off quicker than any racist, supremacist cop ever could.
Alton Sterling did not deserve the death he was given. Neither did Philando Castile, or Tamir Rice, or Sandra Bland, or Eric Garner, or Trayvon Martin, or Sean Bell, or Freddie Gray, or John Crawford, or any of the Black men and women whose names we will never know.
I too wonder how my body would react when it knows that the person bending and breaking it seeks termination. Resistance is in the eye of the oppressor. Period. And although these facts are hard to swallow, I refuse to allow them to disable me and instill the fear of raising a Black son in the country.
With real action behind our Twitter fingers, Facebook statuses, and Instagram reposting, the change of policy, exercising our right to vote (especially local & state representative) and prayer, I have confident hope that my future Black son will live in a better world. I don’t fear for the life of my future son, I fear for the one seeking to take it.
Before you leave: You good sis? Brothers, y’all alright? It’s been a heavy week, but we can’t give up. Let’s keep the dialogue going and uplift and inspire one another. Share this post with someone who you think would benefit from this knowledge! Let me know your thoughts, feeling, or even your frustrations, this is a safe place. Like, comment, and follow for new blog updates!
Aley Arion – Your Millennial Mami