Because my son is Black…

So the other day I was talking to my 8 year old son and he was telling me how he is “supposed” to dress, act and talk because he is black. He was telling me how it’s cool to have your pants sag a lil bit and that if one of the people in his crew aren’t cool with another kid then no one else in the crew can be cool with that kid either. Initially, it was a little funny. I’m like where does this kid come from? I hear him talking on his cell phone to his friends and they are calling each other “dawg” and “homie.” Third graders!!! I still can’t believe it and am a lil amazed by the amount of information good and bad that kids just absorb, understand, and act on without parents even really knowing that they are even aware of things! It’s a lil scary. I guess it is a sign of the times. But it makes me determined to be the one to inform him and explain things to him rather than him having to see it on the news or hear it from his friends. As parents we have to be on offense, not defense. It is way better (and easier) to tell your child about something FIRST than come and try to undo what he/she has already heard and what he/she may already believe. Just my opinion. Anyway, it brought to rememberance a poem I wrote a while back when the Trayvon Martin case had hit mainstream media. I thought I’d share it. Hope you like it. -B- ==================================================================

Do you know who you are?
Do you know why you’re here?
Do you know why when they look at you
they clutch their purses in fear
 
Do you know what you look like
Do you know what they see?
No matter what color suit you have on
or the number of your degrees
 
Black man, who are you?
Do you belong here?
With skittles in your pocket… a 9mm belongs there
Don’t it?
 
You are a black…man
Man, you are black
You’re a black man
Do you know what that means?
 
You supposed to keep your head down
OR put your hands on your head and get on your knees
You are not like them
You cannot do what they do
Cause you better than that
Yet, they think they are better than you
 
Foolish men
Get out of here
Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will not fear…
What man can do to me
Do you know who I am
Do you know why I am here
Not to be suspected but respected
To be protected under the law
not subjected to abuse of the law
 
Or any other person place or thing
Who are you though
And what do you want, Man?
Why do I keep seeing you
Are you following me?
Or are you looking for someone else that looks like me
Black
I am not him who you seek
And neither is he
Do I really look suspicious in this hoodie
Or is it the color of my face
That makes you want to chase
Me
 
I’m a black man
In the U. S. of A
The place where most think racism has gone away
But I’m still profiled and stereotyped
Judged before I can introduce myself
And questioned when I acquire wealth
 
Unless I’m a star athlete, rapper, or actor
Entertaining you..
Oh, is THAT what I’m supposed to do?
Man, that ain’t why I’m here
And that is not who I am
 
Meant to be a success
Straight out the womb I was blessed
Carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders
yet the Lord gives me rest
I must confess- I don’t even know my own strength
 
You wanna bring me into your circle
Separate me from the pact
Make me your token
To try to prove that-
You’re not a racist
 
So what, do you want a prize?
I don’t need your approval
I don’t look for acceptance in your eyes
I know who I am
I know why I am here
 
To change this world
In spite of your resistance
 
To bring forth justice
Because of my persistence
I will not give up
I will not stop
This mission reigns in my veins
And I will give my blood
To finally be equal
In the land of the free
I do it for Trayvon Martin
I do it for me
Cause I know who I am

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