Jordan Davis and Fears for Our Black Sons
[Editor's Note: On February 15, the trial for the murder of 17-year-old Jordan Davis ended in the conviction of 47-year-old Michael Dunn on lesser charges, including second degree attempted murder, evoking memories the trial of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin killing. --Grace]
When I was pregnant over twenty years ago, I hoped for a girl. I hoped for her for many reasons. I wanted a mini-me! I wanted a live doll! I wanted to dress her! My first pregnancy did not produce the live doll baby girl I longed for. He was a boy. A Black baby boy! And my fears began! And... mmhh... ahh....I was sad, because I thought about what he may have to encounter.
But my disappointment was not only about beautiful dresses and pigtails. It was so deeply rooted in my fears. My fears were deeply rooted in the statistics of black boys.
Mychal Denzel Smith wrote a piece that talks about his fear as a Black man in America. If you choose not to read his article, Mychal said this:
“…At 19, I wasn’t just angry, I felt I was living on borrowed time.
At 19, I thought I was supposed to have been dead by 18, and knew 21 wasn’t an option. At 19, I was living ready to die…”
“…I haven’t always felt that way. Being black in America feels like having nothing…”
In another article, Mychal writes about the institutional mechanisms that degrade black life.
After the verdict of Trayvon Martin, I wrote this piece. The system is not structured to protect our black sons and so we must be proactive to provide our sons some piece of protection. This article eloquently describes how Black humanity is once again denied by a system we are supposed to believe in.
Each day, I thank God for the simple accomplishments of my Black son: graduating high school, employed, attending college, lived past the age of 19, 21.
I am currently looking forward to the next milestone: that he is not a victim of institutional racism or even contributes to his demise and lives to/and past the age of 25. Now I wonder….does a White mother have those fears?