Updated: Jun 25, 2020
To my babies,
First thing first, I need you to know that I love you so much, more than you will ever actually know! What saddens me most as I write this though is that my love cannot shield you from those that will try to break you, try to harm or try to kill you because of the colour of the skin that your father and I gave you.
Even though England is where you come from, some people might try to tell you to “go back to where you come from”. It will hurt if you ever go through this but please, my baby, don’t allow yourself to sit with this. Instead come to us because we have been through this, the emotions, the hurt and the pain that comes with it. We can sit, talk and dissect it. Give you space and allow you to go through it. I know it may be really confusing for you but understand that you are unique, you have 3 cultures running through you! Mom and dad may not always understand but we will try to, just give us a chance it might take us a little while to.
When you are born you already will be behind. This life isn’t always fair for people of our kind. You will have to work twice as hard to get the same as some of your friends. You will have to work even harder to shatter that glass ceiling that is placed above your head. Just because you are smarter doesn’t always mean you will get ahead. It’s unfair I know but your last name will sometimes hold you back both in big and sometimes subtle ways. Push through it, keep going, your father and I thought about it. It hurts to think but we gave you an English first name to help you a little through all this.
I want to tell you a little of what’s been going on with your mother. This week has been so tough, so mentally and emotionally draining. The fear that has consumed me as I think of how we will have to raise you is what really got me the most. As I thought of the talks that we will need to have, the exercises we will need to go through, the laws I’ll have to teach you and the discussion we will have to get through, that fear just grew. It grew because even with all of this there is no guarantee that at the end of the day, God forbid anything goes wrong, you will come back home alive.
I know that as we do all of this, through the years you will have a lot of questions. Some of them may be the same as the ones your father and I have asked; “Why do people call me names in school”, “Why do they call me monkey and make fun of my nose”, “Why do older men keep talking to me funny”, “Why won’t the doctors take me seriously mom, I’m in pain”, “Why do I only get compliments at work when I have my weave in”, “Why do people compliment me then say ‘for a black girl/guy’”, “Why can’t I go to some of the places my friends go”,“Why do I have to learn all this and some of my friends don’t”. The list is so extensive but I wrote some just to show you that my baby, we have gone through it so please come let’s talk.
This week has really got to me! As I’m watching all the news and I’m seeing all the different views at which another black man gets killed in broad day light, I just thought of you. What if that was my baby? What if I was that mother? Seeing my child get the life slowly taken from them by another human being who seems to see us as less than. Seems to lack the empathy that would allow him to just ease off a little and allow you to breath. No begging or pleading seems to sway him at all. Nothing - that is what some people will see you as. It made me think that maybe having you should not be an option anymore. Not because I don’t want you (because Lord knows I do) but because I’m scared of what could happen to you! I know my God is bigger, and I know He’s much much greater, but I would be lying if I said that what’s happening didn’t move me in such a way, didn’t scare me, didn’t hurt me, didn’t make me feel a way.
I just pray that your reality is different, and things have come a long way, but if it hasn’t, please don’t hide away. You are the epitome of beauty and strength with your melanin filled skin. Even though some people are too scared to allow it, you will be great and a force to be known. You are not a thug, an angry black woman or whatever label they will throw your way! You are articulate, educated and worth respect so let them know! Your life has meaning. You are loved. You are strong.