"My grandfather built this country, but regardless you'll still look at me as if I'm just another nigger." - Dwayne Wayne (A Different World)
I grew up knowing nothing but black boys. I loved every essence of them too. I loved their stages and their growth. I loved the hair grease between their braids, their durags, wave caps, and afro picks. I loved every jersey and sneaker head.
I loved black boys. Not only because I was I a black girl, but one day I would be a black woman, and that same black boy would become a black man. I needed to love him because he was that of my rib. He was of me. And I to him. But when I turned 17, I realized black boys couldn't become black men. I realized that my school system was a direct funnel to prison. I realized that black boys were either becoming murderers or becoming targets. And regardless, one if not both of them were dying.
I realized that the mistakes they made at 14-17 could cost them 25 to life. I realized that stealing candy, or disrespecting a store clerk could justify senseless killings. I knew that just the appearance of a black boy would seem like a threat to anyone that wished harm on the black male.
I learned that even college football players pulling out of a party could be seen as a threat to anyone that wished death on a black boy. I learned that getting Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea meant that your life could be at risk as a black boy and it didn't matter if you were a good black boy. It didn't matter how many times you made honor roll.
This is probably one of the most simplistic pieces I could write. I can just keep saying "black boy" and these words could keep resonating with you. Because even if my father gets pulled over, he can show his police badge and still be ticketed like he's just a little "black boy." And his "yes sir" and "yes officer," would still sound like "no suh." Because no matter what you do you are still a black boy even if you're just trying to get a bus ticket. Even if you politely say "excuse me." Even when they step on your shoes, roll over your feet, kick you, hit you, put the burden of the world on your shoulders and your crown you will always be a black boy that deserves to live.
I have six nephews that all deserve to become black men. My nephews deserve the opportunity to marry a black woman to procreate and to build a legacy. I don't have to explain to you what happens when you kill a black boy. That something similar to killing a black dream. Killing a black boy is killing a philanthropist, humanitarian, inventor, educator, mentor, and creative. When you kill a black boy, you kill a black girl too. But we all know that is part of the plan.
( FOR ALL the Trayvon Martin's, Sean Bell's, Akai Gurley's, Mike Brown's, Jordan Edward's of this world)
Written by : Shavonne Taisha