This post I am writing to you today is different. Our world is different. Here in 2020, racism and racial injustice are still real. People are still judging other people by the color of their skin. There is still an air of inferiority from one race to another, and just like before, African American males are the target of most of these injustices.
This post I am writing to you today is different, our world is different. Within weeks of each other, two African American men were shot and killed by white men because of what they look like and assumptions about their actions, and now the world is angry. People are angry and protesting for peace, justice, and equality. Marches are happening, speeches are happening, and conversations are being had.
This post I am writing to you today is different. This post I write today is an insight into the world of an African American boy to his white friends.
To My White Brothers,
I write this letter to you because since all of this has happened you and your families have been trying to imagine what it is like to be me, to live in my world, to experience what I experience. It makes me happy to know that you want to know these things, but in reality, you could never experience what I experience because you do not look like me and you don’t have the same experiences as me. I love you, my white brothers, and I know that you love me; and because of that there are some things that I need you to do not for me, but WITH me . . .
SEE ME FOR WHO I AM AND EMBRACE MY CULTURE. Listen to my music, eat foods of my culture, educate yourself on the accomplishments of my people and how they have affected your world.
CELEBRATE ME AND MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS not because of my skin color but because I have a brain, knowledge, and power just like you.
ACKNOWLEDGE MY FEELINGS AND ACTIONS based on how I’m feeling, not how the world thinks that I should feel.
ADVOCATE FOR ME when the world tries to silence me in tough situations like dealing with the police, going to public places, or getting opportunities. (And when they give you a head start because of what you look like, say “NO! I will start when my black brother starts.”)
LOVE ME FOR ME! Everyone has skin, and my skin color is not the only thing that makes me me. I was created not to do black things but to do people things, and we are all people.
Lastly, continue to be my brother as I will continue to be your brother. My skin is not a target or a weapon, it is a feature of me that makes me unique and special.
A Black Boy Full of Joy