My friend, Taisha, and I share many similarities. Our friendship goes way back, almost twenty years. We played basketball together in college. Back then, we spent hours hanging out in each other’s dorm rooms. We both love laughing, dancing, and meeting new people. As we moved out of the dorms and years have flown by, we have become mothers. We now share many of the universal thoughts and feelings that accompany motherhood. We each have three sons and love them with an overwhelming, protective, intense and unconditional love. We have countless hopes and aspirations for our sons. And we also have worries and fears related to our sons’ futures. My fears as a mother of three white sons are not the same as my friend, Taisha’s. This reality sickens, saddens, and infuriates me. I asked Taisha if she would share her thoughts and perspective as a mother of three black sons. She graciously accepted. I’m honored to have my dear friend as a contributor to my blog’s first guest post. -Amelia
In the wake of senseless violence, many injustices, and racial tension at an all time high, I pray and I plead to the Lord. I pray my sons and/or loved ones NEVER become a hash tag, the face on a t-shirt, or a reason to protest in this world!! I just can’t!!
I am an African-American, proud mother of three black sons. My sons are Tavares (15), Trevon (8) and Trenton (6 years old). They are my heart, my love, my world, my joy, and absolutely my everything.
I will focus on my oldest son, Tavares. I’m sitting down on the couch watching t.v., I get a tap on my shoulder. “Mom, ma, mommy, mama, mommia, mom, mom, mom.” Here we go, the scene from Family Guy!! I turn around and he says hello. Not just a regular hello, an Adele hello,
“Hello, It’s me!”
I have to listen to him sing this song until the beginning of the second verse, where I can usually cut him off. Then, he sits on the floor in front of me so I can twist and play with his hair. Most of the time, you can see him doing the latest dance moves to the latest songs with the biggest grin on his face. Although a typical teen, Tavares stands at 6’5″ and is still growing. He loves basketball and is a member of the Varsity basketball team. He aspires to play college basketball at Auburn University. He loves nature and farming. Although he is an upcoming Junior in high school, he is also a Sophomore in college as a dual enrollment student. At his high school graduation, he will receive an associate degree in Agri-Science. He participates in many school programs, clubs, and associations. He plays trumpet for the marching band and French horn for the concert band. At church, he is a member of the junior usher ministry and a member of the junior choir. He loves God, church, and his community. This is not the totality of my son but a glimpse of his many awesome attributes!!
It scares me that some portions of society feel fear, anger, and violence, or see a thug, a menace to society, an inferior being, without even knowing him. Every person has a story.
Every and any mother has a hope for her child to have the opportunity to live and fulfill the life God has for them. I just want Tavares to have that opportunity. My prayer is that hate doesn’t win, if he is ever in the face of hate. No one, I mean absolutely no one, has the right to take his life or that potential from the world.
Someone will take one look at him and assimilate every stereotype that may or may not be applicable to him. Someone will validate their own negative experience and paint him with the same broad brush. Someone may look at him with fear embedded from the perpetual, violent images of black boys his age, and not from his/her personal experience. Someone will never give him the compassion of humanity because of the pigmentation and hue of his skin. Someone will base their dialogue to remain true for all people and hate my son just because. My fear remains that someone could possibly rob my heart, my love, my world, my joy, and absolutely, my everything’s life, only to memorialize it with a hash tag, t- shirt, or protest in this world. I just can’t!