Happy New Year! I’m young and I like living. This morning my Mom cooked eggs and wheat toast, maybe yours did too. I ate the whole thing and asked for seconds. I was hungry shortly thereafter and she gave me a snack to eat while I played with my toys. My favorite toy is my Star Wars Millennium Falcon ship. I can play with that all day long. However, I have to do my chores, in between reading and writing. My family loves books. I’m really trying to convince my parents to get me a dog. I want one so bad. Is your son bugging you for a pet too. I love my Mom and Dad, what would I do without them? What would they do without me? We love each other. I need them. They need me.
Today, the clouds have funny shapes. I saw the shape of a star, a dog, a moving mountain and President Obama. No really, take a look at the clouds sometimes and see what kind of shapes you can create. My mind keeps moving all day long, it wanders sometimes too. I imagine all the things I want to do when I grow up. I want to fly a plane. Well first, I want to fly in a plane, I haven’t done that yet, my cousins have, but Dad says I will soon. They support me in everything I do and want to do. If I can’t do it now, they come up with ways to introduce me to certain careers. Like, I want to be a Scientist, so they bought me a lab coat and science kit for my room. I love art, so I have all the tools I need to create clay creations, paintings, drawings and so much more.
Once I flew a kite right next to a boy my age. He was of another race. I am African-American and our kites both flew in the air.
Did you know that when I cut my finger, I bleed just like your son?
When I eat too much, my tummy sticks out a little, just like your child.
When playing baseball, if the mud is wet, my foot gets stuck in the dirt too.
When I breathe, my chest goes up and down too.
When I smell, I use the same tool as other children, my nose!
When I listen, my ears are the tools that are being used, just like yours!
When I hear music that I like, my feet dance to the rhythms of Hip Hop, Rock, Blues, and Country too!
When I cry, laugh or sing, those sounds escape through my mouth just like yours!
So please understand, when you walk around not quite understanding why we are sad, mad, or upset when a black young male loses his life, that makes no sense. Let me explain. We are upset for the same reasons you are when you lose someone you love. I hate to ask you to imagine this, but what if it were your child? When I heard about the two young boys lost as sea (they were white) I cried. I wanted to know more about the search, how could it end with them lost? How could they have been allowed to go out on a boat by themselves? I was mad.
What I can’t understand is why you don’t care or have the audacity to think that we should somehow forget the racism that has never ceased? How you actually live without a concern for the fact that there is an obvious conspiracy to snuff out anything that remotely looks like me is baffling. How can you know that my little fingers grow, just like the little fingers on the hands of your little one’s, but someone wants to harm me and you are not concerned?
I just wanted you to know, that I am more like you, than unlike you. I simply want to grow up and be the best human being that I can be, just like your children. In my family we have people with Bachelor degrees, Masters degrees and Doctorates too.
I know, somebody, some sensationalized news report that focuses on all the negative about my race has convinced you that my people are bad. With all of your education (some of you) and intelligence (some of you) and religion (most of you) you have to see through these lies. All of our contributions to society will not be listed in this blog post, but I encourage you to go educate yourself and be enlightened. We want to continue to be Presidents like Obama, doctors, lawyers, scientists, teachers, carpenters, pilots, musicians, artists, philanthropist, astronomers and so much more, just like many of our ancestors and fellow citizens. Did you hear that, citizens. We are citizens too! We helped to build this country.
So, as we open our shores to new immigrants, we have been here and want you to understand that we intend to breathe and live side by side with you on this earth, in these cities that are filled with darkness and hatred toward us, despite all of our contributions. This is our earth too.
I just wanted to appeal to you in this letter and ask that the next time you see me in a store, try not to clutch your purse and know that I am shopping just like you. Try not to cross the street, simply because you spotted my beautiful brown skin walking toward you on the sidewalk. That seat on the bus, next to me, is available, sit down. If you have a tool that can witness ill-treatment of me at the hands of authority, use it, you could save a child’s life. Obama was right you know, Trayvon Martin could have been him and we would have missed all of his amazing contributions to America.
However, if you choose to live in that weird world of sensational and self-inflicted inhibitions toward young African-American boys/men, please do me a favor, leave me alone and let me live. Stay in your cocoon. I have people who love me, who want me around. People who look like me, and some who look like you. I love having me around too and I have big things to do in life, as a full contributing member of society. I am a citizen who is being educated, my Mom and Dad, they are going to make sure that I make something of myself with God as the head of our lives. I wish the same for you and yours, don’t be surprised, I mean that sincerely.
Before you go off and tag this under the angry black male category, I will kindly correct you. This is actually a love letter, sent from me to you, because I love me. This is my declaration. Oh and one more thing, (the media won’t tell you) we love our sisters too, so please pay them the same respect. Happy New Year! Thanks for reading my letter. I’d like to keep this positive letter going and growing, so please share it and at the bottom you can add to it, in the comments section. #SayItLoud,SayItProud #TrayvonMartin #TamirRice #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter #…
A Proud, Young, African-American Male
A Proud, Young, African-American Male