Yes, Mother’s Day for a Black mom is different. We don’t have the pleasure of relaxing on Sunday, watching movies, reading magazines, enjoying a cooked meal, or sitting on the patio. In times like these, our day is filled with pacing the floor and praying that we will be able to hear our child’s voice or see them alive because of the color of their skin.
Scrolling and reading my newsfeed on social media, I wept as I read posts by millennials hoping they can get through another day without being murdered.
I decided to ask some Black young adult women to share their voices on this blog post for Mother’s Day.
I asked them to respond to the following.
In the current climate of hashtags communicating another injustice in the Black community, I would say this to my Black mother (grandmother, mother figure) on Mother’s Day…
I want you to know that I will try my best to survive. I will cooperate when I am pulled over. I will not resist arrest or attempt to assault an officer. I will try not to run alone outdoors. This Mother’s Day, I do not want you to worry about me or my brother or sister. I will try to convince them to be careful with me. I will tell them to avoid over-watching the news or feeding into the sensationalism on social media. I will protect them when I can and protect you from pain if I can. I will try my best to survive, but because of the racial landscape of this country, it may not be enough. If any of us become a statistic, it is not your fault, these things just happen, and there is not much that we can do about them. So, I love you, and all I have to do is stay black and die. I just hope that the one is not the reason for the other.”
In the current climate of hashtags communicating another injustice in the Black community, I say this to my Black mothers. Love on your babies every chance you get. Continue to speak love and light into their lives, instill them with confidence and knowledge, remind them of the beauty of their skin and the power behind it. Have those difficult conversations early and teach them their history. Pray for your daughters and your sons. Pray for all mothers. Hug them a little longer, kiss them a little more, embrace them a little tighter. Keep your faith and remain hopeful that the narratives will change. Our daughters and our sons deserve a chance, they deserve hope, they deserve success, they deserve love, and they deserve a future.”
I know that I’ve always been the strong child, but I don’t know how to protect myself in a world that doesn’t love me or care that I’m a Black woman. I thought that they were supposed to look out for women and children. I’m not a mother, so I’ll never understand how that feels to bare children. I thought that when you went to the doctor, they’d look out for your best interests. They don’t. They told me that this was it. I’ll never share this day with you.
My husband wants to fight for our country because he thinks that it’s his duty to leave a legacy that will be of honor and love for what he believes in. But this country doesn’t love him. I’m confused and scared that he’d go and I’d get the call that my Uriah has been put on the front line and killed.
My heart is broken because no matter if we follow the rules, “be good” and do what’s right, it will never be enough. Going to church doesn’t mean anything. Loving your neighbor means nothing.
Was what you taught us real? Was it just to get us to follow what you were saying? All I know is life is creating too many emotions, and I feel crazy.”
Black Woman, Columbus, Ohio
You taught me that it’s a blessing to birth sons. I watch my three Black boys every day and wonder how I will prepare them for a world that doesn’t want them. How do I explain the invisible birthmark shaped like a target on their backs? I do all I can to scrub that target off of them every day. I hear myself telling them. Don’t use slang. Don’t move too fast. Don’t jog. Don’t wear hoodies. Don’t carry concealed. Don’t play cops and robbers. Don’t play your music too loud. Don’t move. Don’t move. Don’t move. Stay with mommy.
Mom, how do I prepare? How do I let go and let God if it feels like God is letting his black sons go?”
Thank you. Thank you for bringing us into this world. Thank you for protecting us. Thank you for teaching us that our Black lives matter. We are thankful for you. We are thankful for all the times you told me to keep my head up. We are thankful for your unwavering support in everything we do. No matter what society thinks, says, does, we find comfort in knowing that you are on our side. We thank you today and every day.”
“Mom, I pray I never become a hashtag.” ~ Dominiq Dudley
So, on this Mother’s Day, in light of the current climate of hashtags connected to the murders of Black people, I can’t rest. I’m praying for Black people in America. However, I will do something in honor of the most recent hashtag #AhmaudArbery. I will jog 2.23 miles with tears streaming down my face in remembrance of him and praying for his momma.