As an African-American mother, raising black male children has been both gratifying and challenging all at the same time. To be more explicit the gratification of mothering two black male children stems from seeing them evolve into intelligent, inquisitive and creative young beings. On the other hand, mothering two black male children has been challenging because the day that I found out that within nine months I would give birth to my amazing sons that there would be an all out plot to eradicate them from the earth. A scheme that was deliberately contrived to stop, kill, and destroy the plans and purposes that God had placed on their lives before they were placed in my womb and before the very foundation of the world. It has been challenging because just like a mother bear when she senses danger she will go out of her way to protect her cubs. In hindsight, one would think that I could demonstrate the same level of protection as the mother bear with her cubs but that is not the case because it is impossible for me to be with them all the time.
Subsequently, my challenge in raising two black male children extends beyond the threshold of protecting them and providing them with the right guidance. The challenge is much deeper for the simple fact that who knew that there would be systems constructed to intentionally and systemically re-enslave my sons by building prisons based on their test scores from the third grade.
Who knew that despite the fact that my young black sons were taught to do their best in school, to stay out of trouble, to be mindful of the people they call friend, to abide by all rules and laws, to be respectful of others as well as to treat others the way they wanted to be treated, to live in peace with everyone, to exercise their constitutional right and perform their civic duty by voting, to be a viable asset to their community and not a liability; as well as imparted the importance of taking care of themselves that they still would be subjected to predatorial pursuits.
Who knew that in spite of the slew of civil rights’ leaders who stood on the frontlines for justice and sacrificed their lives to ensure that every little black boy and girl were afforded the same rights and privileges as others, that my black sons could be put in a predicament where they could be dehumanized and scrutinized on a constant basis through ridicule, stereotyping, humiliation, and by the way considered a threat and less than a man or human being.
Who knew that my black sons’ point of being as human beings would be based on the color of their skin and the way they looked? Who knew, certainly not me.
Now that all that I’ve taught my sons to be true and righteous has been disproven and looked upon as a misnomer and a fallacy based on the recent events that have occurred across the nation in many cities, what do I tell my sons? How do I reassure them that they do not have to be afraid and that there’s no bulls-eye tattooed on their foreheads, chests or backs?
I don’t quite know how to answer these self-imposed questions but what I do know and believe is that I will continue in affirming:
- That my sons remain vigilant with their relationship they have established with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;
- That they should always pray and pray consistently and continuously ;
- That they should always commit their ways unto the Lord trusting and believing that He will direct their steps in life;
- That they should never give into fear because no weapon formed against them will prosper (Isaiah 54:17);
- That no matter what situations may come their way in life, they will stand on the promises of Jesus Christ, because…”We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, and who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28);
- That they will be responsible and accountable for their behavior and actions;
- That they will always maintain a level of humility and dignity;
- That they will sow seeds of gratitude in the communities in which they live and were raised and to be an inspiration to others;
- That they will remain proactive in their pursuit of happiness;
- That they will continue their pursuit of higher education and exercising their right to vote;
- That they will be determined to have a seat at the table where important decisions are made concerning their lives as well as the lives of others; and
- That they will gain economic influence and power through the establishment of their own businesses as entrepreneurs.
Henceforth, from the perspective of a mother of two black young men it is my hope and prayer that as my sons follow these suggestions that they will be able to live out their lives in accordance to the plans and purposes of God, that one day they will get married and have children of their own and instill the same moral values into their children as I’ve given to them. Additionally, that my two black sons would be able to live in peace and harmony with all mankind and owe no man nothing but Love.
In the comment section below, tell me how you process the current social atmosphere that we experience in today’s society.