It’s Friday, June 19, 2020. For the first time in a few weeks, I woke up at my usual 4 am. I probably woke up earlier; my mind seems to be rushing with fluctuations of anxiety and anticipation. For weeks, the news and social media outlets have been inundated with the killings of African-American men at the hands of those who were sworn to “serve and protect.” In addition, I have watched this country, quite literally, burn with the hopes of finally identifying, addressing and eradicating the systemic racism that made America a world power. As much as I am filled with anger, I cannot ignore that I spend a good part of my day looking at my husband and my sons. Without rhyme or reason, my mind runs through scenarios of protection and escape should I find myself in a situation that was devised by the narrow minds of hate.
Like most mothers, I have hopes for my sons’ future: good careers, great marriages, beautiful children, and lives of abundant faith. I trust that their purpose will overshadow the plot of the enemy to snuff them out before they are given a chance to journey. I trust that they will have a time to tell their grandchildren about “how they made it over.” But, as a melanated mother…in America…the screams of my hopes and prayers are sometimes drowned out by desire for them to just be able to live.
Like most wives, I have hopes to see my husband walk in the vision and plan of success for his life. I wake up earlier praying and asking for direction about how to be a part of that plan. My mind’s heart beams with joy and pride when I see him transitioning from faith to faith and to glory to glory. I sometimes sit silently and marvel at how he has grown as a person, a man, a professional, a husband but most importantly as someone who is desperately trying to walk out his purpose. But, as a melanated wife…in America…the screams of my hopes and prayers are often times drowned out by my desire for him to just be able to come home from the grocery store.
Like most women, I have dreams. I know the purpose for my life and I am actively walking it out every chance that I get. I have made peace with my missteps on this journey and I secure with the woman that those missteps have created. I no longer need to be perfect, to be productive. I no longer need the permission of a pseudo-father figure to validate my purpose. I look in the mirror and see a good work. I take pride in the gifts that have been bestowed upon me to do what I invested in the Earth to do. But as a melanated woman…in America…the cheers to my hopes and dreams being made manifest are often times drowned out by my desire to feel comfortable enough to take a walk in my neighborhood and make it back home.
I fully intended on penning a note about the need for everyone to celebrate Juneteenth. I fully intended on sharing with my audience how I cried–at a point of exhausted mental overflow—when a racist woman, during a phone conversation yesterday, decided to dismiss me and speak only to my white counterpart and no one knew how broken I was about it. I fully intended on writing this elaborate piece about the division in this country, the protests, the impact of the insensitive, racially charged political propaganda, and the loss of some very fine people from my life who only liked me because I was one of the good ones.
But I couldn’t.