Black Lives Matter
George Floyd was killed on a Monday. It was the Monday of the last week of school. I was checked out. In the weeks leading up to that day, we had been going full speed online. I had been participating in work meetings every morning. I was furiously documenting every moment of my three-month-old’s development and sharing it on Instagram. My seven-year-old was wrapping up her school year and it all ended that week. I barely glanced at the news that week. So it took me a moment to catch up on what was going on. It’s no excuse but I feel like I was late to the table and I worry that I let people down. You should know that black lives matter.
That Saturday my husband was picking up dinner and he saw a handful of people marching through a parking lot towards a major road to protest the killing of George Floyd and demand the arrest of the officers involved. He sent me some texts about it while he was in line to get food. I started thinking about how real this is and how we probably need to tell the girls (ages 7 & 5) about what is going on in the world. I immediately wished I had a book or a video to refer them to so that I didn’t have to do the hard work of figuring out what to tell them. But then I scolded myself because black mamas don’t have a choice about whether or not to tell their babies about racism and they don’t always have the convenience of a book or a video to explain why they are oppressed. I decided then and there that I would do my very best to explain to them, in my own words, that although in this house we treat all people with respect and love, that there are others out there who do not and that we need to do something about it.
I cried through most of it. I don’t even remember what I said. But I remember being proud of my husband for translating my blubbering into something the kids could understand. And I remember my five-year-old chanting “Black Lives Matter” at the end of our talk. Since then I’ve gotten braver about talking about it with them.
I stand with Black Lives to make this world a better place. To ensure equality and end the violence against black people everywhere. I vow to shed my own skin, to expose the raw underneath, unlearn my privilege, face myself and make this revolution the center of my work.
I do not believe in black tears or white tears. I believe that all tears are clear, you can see right through them and reflect upon them. No one is perfect and anyone can change. This movement is not a political one. It is a moral one. We need to be better humans. As a mama of young children, I am in a uniquely exciting position to teach my children the right way to treat others. My mother taught me what she knew to be right. She taught me to treat others equally. But what she did not know was that to stand by and listen to others make racist remarks without shutting them down is to be complicit. She did not teach me to confront hate. She did model standing up for your beliefs, but that’s not the same as confronting hate. It is not easy to confront hate. Confronting hate is asking it to be brought upon yourself. It takes a lot of courage to speak up to hate. Some might say it takes an entire movement behind you to give you the courage to speak up to hate.
There is such momentum right now encouraging us to confront hate, but what are the next steps? How can we start making plans to see the world transformed? We can pledge ourselves to the cause and make checks upon ourselves to see that we keep moving forward. Write your intentions down in a journal or on a letter board. Put it somewhere your family can see and be reminded daily. Black lives matter and all our lives depend on this now. The choices we make in these moments will determine the future for our children. I love my baby boy. He is an absolute gift and blessing to me. But I don’t want him to grow up in a world where white male privilege is a thing. I want him to work just as hard as his sisters for what he has and I want him to know that.
We will begin with small steps; they are the least we can do, but we want to ensure that we are thoughtful and deliberate in everything we do to participate in this movement. I promise that I will share every detail here on this blog as we move forward. We will dedicate time and money to the cause in an effort to begin healing. We believe that all Americans should be treated equally and that because of the systemic oppression the black community has faced for centuries, there should be reparations. We will learn black history and celebrate black culture. This is just one mom’s take on Black Lives Matter, but I hope to gear up and make a bigger impact as I am able to. As for me and this blog, I will ensure that any vendors, advertisers, promoters, collaborators, producers or anyone else I work with stands on the right side of this revolution.
Now for some resources. The ones I had wished for when trying to talk to my kids about these topics:
Books about Racism and Social Justice
Black History Movies That Tackle Racism
Article (and video!): How to Talk with Kids about Racism and Racial Violence
Article: How White Parents Can Use Media to Raise Anti-Racist Kids