Maya Angelou hit the core with this one
Yesterday I cried watching the Michael Jackson memorial. I cried for a little
black boy who felt the world didn't understand him.
I cried for a little black boy who spent his adulthood chasing his childhood.
And I thought about all the young black boys out there who may feel
that the world doesn’t understand them.
The ones who feel that the world does not understand their baggy jeans,
their swagger, their music, their anger, their struggles, their fears or the
chip on their shoulder.
I worry that my son, may too, one day feel lonely in a wide, wide world.
I cried for young children of all colors who may live their life feeling
like a misfit, feeling like no one understands their perspective, or their
soul. What a burden to carry.
As a mother, I cried for Katherine Jackson because no mother should
ever bury a child. Period. And I think about all the pain, tears and
sleepless nights that she must have endured seeing her baby boy in
inner pain, seeing him struggle with his self- esteem, and his insecurities
and to know that he often felt unloved. Even while the world loved him deeply.
How does it feel to think that the unconditional love we give as mothers
just isn’t enough to make our children feel whole?
I wonder if she still suffers thinking, “What more could I have done?”
Even Moms of music legends aren’t immune to Mommy guilt, I suppose.
When Rev. Al Sharpton (who always delivers one “Awesome” funeral
speech), said to Michael’s children “ Your Daddy was not Strange . . . .
It was strange what your daddy had to deal with” I thought of all of the
strange things of the world that my children would have to deal with.
Better yet, the things I hope they won’t ever have to deal with anymore.
And as a mother raising a young black boy, I feel recommitted and yet a
little confused as to how to make sure my son is sure enough within
himself to take on the world. Especially a “strange” one. To love himself
enough to know that even when the world doesn’t understand you, tries
to force you into it’s mold or treats you unkindly, you are still beautiful,
strong, and Black. How do I do that?
Today, I’m taking back “childhood” as an inalienable right for every brown
little one. In a world that makes children into “booty-Shakin”, mini- adults
long before their time, I’m reclaiming the playful, the innocent, run-around
outside, childhood as the key ingredient in raising confident adults.
Second, I will not rest until my little black boy, My Michael, knows that his
broad nose is beautiful, his chocolately brown skin is beautiful, and his thick
hair is beautiful.
And nothing or no one, can take that away from him.
Now, ain’t we Bad, ain’t we Black, and ain’t we Beautiful!