A few days ago I wrote a Facebook post about my boy's walking to the store and "the talk" that occurred prior to them leaving the house. I wanted to share it here along with some of the comments because it will give you more insight into my life as an African-American mother and maybe just maybe, make a difference for them in the future.
Facebook Post October 25, 2020
"My boys are walking to the grocery store for the first time since moving into our new neighborhood here in Memphis.
Why is this something to post about?
Well if you could have heard how we prepped them...Here is what we said:
The goal is to come home.
Don't get distracted, get to the store and come right back.
"So we don't look suspicious."
When you enter the store what should you do?
"Take off our hoodies and don't put our hands in our pockets."
If you're stopped by a police officer be respectful and what else?
"Keep our hands out front and don't reach for anything."
What if they ask for ID?
"We'll tell them, we're only 13 and that we are homeschooled."
Ok--we think you're ready.
"Mom, I'm a little nervous."
"Don't worry son, God is with you. Hold your head up high and walk to the store."
What do you say to your son when he walks to the store?
#raisingblackboys #raisingblackteens #conversationswithblackboys #imablackmother #GodProtectOurChildren
When they came home--I could breathe again!
As of today, this Facebook post has been shared over 50x's and it really it struck a chord with the public. Here are some of the comments--I'm hoping you will find them eye-opening and educational:
There is so much about parenting that is inherently frightening. I cannot imagine how heavy this extra burden of racism must be. I’m sorry and I want a better, safer, kinder society for these two boys and for all of us. We need to heal this ill. Thank you for the reminder. -Comment
Definitely an added burden. I mean walking to the grocery store shouldn't be so stressful. But my boys came back and said, "Mom, it was no big deal." And that's how it should be!--My Response
Had the same talk the first time my sons walked to the store. --Comment
Parenting is hard enough--I'm just glad they made it back home!--My response
We have had this conversation with our kids, my parents had it with us. We explained it is a cops job to look for suspicious behavior and investigate and that they have dangerous jobs. They are confronted daily with people who would rather do them harm than be obedient. So they are to be very respectful, obedient and keep their hands in plain sight. We cant assume they will u understand that we are safe people, no matter what we look like.--Comment
You are right, we can't assume they will think we are safe. But I've had a father falsely accused for being a wanted man by the FBI, I have been "arrested" as a teenager--accused falsely while being a straight A student and school president, cousin convicted of a crime he didn't commit and sent to prison, a cousin shot and killed in his own home for no reason, and the list goes on and on. The suspicion for black suspects has always been high in this country and the cost are even higher. That's why I had the talk with my sons---history.--My Response
My dear Ayanna, that was so heartfelt it put tears in my eyes.
May our Lord be w/ your boys and EVERY colored kid.
May our country one day become COLOR BLIND.--Comment
My heart is settling down, now that they made it back home safely. Yes, may God be with all our children.--My Response
It's so heartbreaking. Mine isn't that independent yet but have had the talk when she started making her own store transactions, even with me, especially with others, to keep her receipt until she got to the car.--Comment
Oh yea--I forgot about the receipt part---I'll remember that for next time!--My Response
#whiteprivilege the inequity it is beyond words that is what has to happen. Ill tell my son about cavities and crossing the street you have to tell yours how not to get shot. I can’t. Thank you for sharing this.--Comment
Yes cavities, crossing the street, and how not to look suspicious, how to interact with police in a way in which they will make it back home---and hope and pray that its enough. But my treasures are back home and all went well this time!--My Response
I’m literally tearing up. This conversation shouldn’t have to happen. But this conversation must happen. Thank you for sharing for those that don’t know about the talk.--Comment
I didn't want to have the conversation but I wasn't allowing my boys out the house to explore the neighborhood. It was time but wow--it's hard trying to have the balance of letting them know there is a potential for danger but not wanting them to live in fear.--My Response
What do you think about "The Talk?"
I've been married to my best friend Bryan Murray since the year 2000. Now we have four incredible children and a super full life with extended family and friends.