I’ve had writer’s block before, this isn’t it. What do I say to not rehash & trigger the moms that know? What do I say to the moms that genuinely don’t know without them feeling the problem is too large to tackle?
I thought, do I wait? Is this adding to the weight? The weight of knowing the skin that we are in is a death sentence. Death inevitable yes, yet often ours is accompanied by cruelty.
Can this even be happening right now? Amid COVID ’19 quarantining, food shortages, homeschooling, summer camp prepping, we continue to see lynchings as if we are in 1940’s Georgia. But wait, haven’t we always had this weight? As the world collectively mourned 9/11, we were still in mourning for Amadou Diallo.
It is all over social media and the news. Quick, take away the girls’ devices. Now what’s next? The curiosity of children always finds it’s way to discovery. I remember reading everything I could get my hands on. That was, until the day, I grabbed a JET magazine and found the Emmett Till article. Although the murder took place in 1955 the realization that a death like that could still occur was not lost on me. That realization was reenforced with the beating of Rodney King in 1991. The swollen faces so unrecognizable to their former selves yet so similar to each other and the collective weight, the weight of being Black.
Wait, don’t break down in front of the girls. Swallow the desire to beg Corey to stay home because you want him to be safe.
I need to know what’s going on but I can’t watch it. I can’t hear another man saying “I CAN’T BREATHE.”. The cops with their hands in their pockets while they waited, waited for him to die. It is said that George Floyd cried out for his mother who had transitioned years before. Many believe that cry awakened the Ancestral Mothers.
The people have taken to the streets. WE CAN’T WAIT! What exactly should we be waiting for, an election? An election as if we elected to be black? Are we waiting for others to watch someone leave their physical form at the hands or should I say the knees of another man to finally feel the weight? No, not the weight of our oppression but what about the weight of their guilt?
I find the fires comforting. An outward illustration of the inward pain. Fire purifies and what remains is refined. Could we start over? Do we even want to?
A dear friend’s daughter started walking. She is growing in leaps and bounds but I wish she would wait. What is she walking into?
I daydream of segregation. Not out of hatred but out of exhaustion. Just to be able to move freely without purses being clinched and cops being called. Daydreaming helps relieve the weight.
Ella wants to protest. Her words too heavy. Were our nightly whispers while watching citizen journalism too loud? Did the buzz of comparing the search for true unbiased journalism to publications of the past like “Negro World” sting her too?
Ava is ready to fight. Fight for freedom. Freedom? In 2020 at 16yrs old while living in the self-proclaimed “Land of the Free”. I can’t let her go. She tries another angle. “Mom, when can I take my driver’s exam?”. “Wait.” I tell her, “Just wait.” I blame COVID because I can’t tell her that the death of Sandra Bland still haunts me. Sandra’s lifeless mugshot and the dialogue between her and the officers. Ava would ask those same questions. I now hate myself for telling her to always ask questions. “If you don’t understand something, why wait?” “Make sure to ask in real-time and take notes, copious notes.”
An important application came in the mail the other day. An application that could change the course of our lives. Something we’ve waited for, but I can’t fill it out. The plain manilla envelope is so heavy. I check the stamps..really I would’ve thought it needed more for that weight.
Summer is coming, we’ve started a garden. It brings me closer to my father, who I miss beyond measure. He would somehow walk us through this. Sadly, he had a lifetime of George Floyd like losses.
My father loved to garden. Growing up in the projects of The Bronx he could never imagine having one.”You eat what you grow”. I miss Ava in the garden picking tomatoes off the vine and eating them like the fruits they are. Maybe bringing about life will ease the weight of death?
I see Gigi Floyd’s face when I close my eyes just as I did Sybrina Fulton, Erica Gardner, and Mamie Till before. Watching something die inside of the living…that weight.
I can hear well-wishers say it now “Just wait, with time, the pain will hurt a little less. Just wait, in time things will be better.”
I’ve had writer’s block before this isn’t it.