Like many Americans on Saturday July 13, 2013, my nerves got the best of me while awaiting the George Zimmerman verdict. When the verdict was announced, my heart dropped in aguish for Trayvon Martin’s family. I can only struggle to imagine the pain they are feeling. To have your child murdered and for there to be no consequences must be the most horrifying feeling a parent can go through.
For many Black boys and men, they share the same sentiments as I do, “I could have been Trayvon Martin”. I am writing this because I feel the emotions of many Black boys who are grappling with how to survive without being the victim of the threat called “racism”. To my brothers, it is important to reflect on the legacy of our ancestors. Movements to fight against injustice have been apart of history for centuries: From the revolts during the transatlantic slave trade, to the American civil rights movement, to the fight to end Apartheid in South Africa. Social movements and the quest for social change have always been a part of society. My brothers, you are a part of a contemporary movement in the fight for your own humanity. You have allies and aren’t alone. Stand with pride in this journey we call life. Never feel a sense of isolation because there is another Black boy who may be going through your same pain. Never feel discouraged or let someone make you feel as if your life does not have value. You are loved, and every Black boy is valued as a child of God. Remember that you have a purpose in life.
As a Black man of African descent born and raised in the United States, throughout my early development I was socialized on the experiences of Blacks in America. Resiliency was a phenomenological experience that I learned early on. There aren’t answers or solutions to every situation you may encounter while being a Black boy. You may desire to change or influence a racist person’s attitudes, which in turn maybe problematic. Keep in mind that no one is inherently born to be racist; racism is a taught behavior. Unfortunately, racism is part of the burden of being Black in America. Lastly, my brothers continue to persist and achieve despite white supremacy, sexism, poverty, and the continued assassination of Black manhood in America.
RIP Till, Diallo, Bell, Grant, King, Martin…..and all the Black boys and men who have been the victims of hate.