Dear Black Men,
I sit here tonight after watching the news report on yet another black man losing his life unjustly by the hands of someone who swore to protect and serve. I ask myself when will enough be enough? In these men, I see my brothers, cousins, co-worker, friends and you. My thoughts are with you! Who since birth have struggled to navigate through a system that has only been capable of creating barriers to keep you from achieving your purpose. It has made you doubt yourself, to cripple you and practically destroy you. My thoughts are with you, when I tuck my eight year-old child into bed and kiss him goodnight as I pray over him, pleading to the powers that be that he never gets to experience the atrocities so many black men do in their daily lives.
Every day I make sure to tell my child how much he is loved, I try to instill in him that he too matters, I wish I could do the same for you, but this is the only medium I have to express these sentiments.
Know that I am here for you, to give you the strength you need when someone questions your masculinity, when someone looks you in the face and fails to see your black boy magic.
Know that this is not your fault, for centuries people have been brainwashed to believe every negative opinion about you without ever so much as taking the time to get to know you and your truth.
They fear what they do not know; question what they do not understand. They will never acknowledge your ordeals, nor how every night when the death of a black man is live-streamed on cable and social media you go to bed lying beside your grief. Nor how every day becomes too much to endure. While the nation may become desensitized to the killings; that is not my case, nor that of others, we accompany you in your despair and pray we too do not become another hashtag. Hashtags mean nothing and are quickly replaced by more tragic deaths, more protests more ineffective grief. As our cries for justice continue being ignored; you feel silenced, your vocal chords rendered useless in a conversation that’s being held every day with no foreseeable solutions. I know this all too well.
I’m sorry that the tension is so palpable, I’m sorry that your heart weighs so heavily and that very little brings you consolation. It’s exhausting. You have been let down enough, disappointed by a system that has oppressed you. I know often times you are afraid of what tomorrow may hold and that the frustration towards the uncertainties, has become overwhelming to your spirit.
I want you to know that all I can offer you is my love. As imperfect as it is, love, Black love, has been known to mend broken hearts, to repair damaged souls, to cure afflictions and restore faith in ourselves and those we depend on.
I implore you to accept the love I offer, allow me to shroud you in it, so that tomorrow you may face the world all over again. My love will be here when you need to vent and curse the world for what is being done to you, when you can no longer remain composed and need to burst into tears. My love is here to hold you and sustain you. My love will help you face all obstacles. When you can no longer speak in your defense I will do so on your behalf, when you cannot stand you can lean on me. I will support you without judgment, be patient and understanding, I stand by you when no one else does because I respect and I value you.
These past few months have been heart-wrenching, and I know there are many more days like these in the horizon. I am here presenting you with all the love I have to give in hopes that you don’t forget, that you may always remember where to reach out for it.