There have been countless articles written on the subject of raising black boys in our current divisive climate. It is a daunting task for parents and it is all the more heart wrenching that they must teach their boys that they will have to act differently than their white counterparts when law enforcement is around. The deadly implications of a black boy who is acting outside the realm of what makes a white policeman comfortable, is weighing on the hearts and minds of every parent who has to watch his black boy go off to school or even to the corner store on a daily basis. This is also the case for women married to black men.
Everyday my husband goes out into the world to provide for me. Every time he leaves our home a quick thought crosses my mind: if today will be the day that he has to encounter a policeman at a traffic stop. Perhaps nothing will happen. The officer may simply write him a ticket and move on. The officer may even forego a ticket and give him a warning instead.
Then there is the other possibility, the one that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. The one that makes my blood run backwards. The possibility that sets my heart ablaze at the injustice of it all. It is because of that possibility – not yet a reality – that I grieve over my husband.
The simple fact that we have to think twice, three times, before sending our boys and men out into the world is the greatest offense to our heritage. And the thing that engraves that offense into stone is our subjugation to it all.
A black wife looking into the eyes of her black husband sees her king and wonders why humanity doesn’t see him for who he is. For he is more than a possible thug. He is more than a possible felon. His heart is not a calloused vessel bent on sabotaging his life and the lives of his loved ones; as society would have it. Be as it may, he will forever live in the shadows of that darkened image. He will forever have to fight against what is possible to prove what is. That he is worthy of a dignified life and that dignity should be inherent; not assigned to him by the powers that be.
The home I have built with my husband is our haven; separate from the outside world. This is where we grow consciously, together, as one. His struggle is my fight. His dark shadow cast upon his footsteps follows me also. We are reflections of one another. And I will forever stand by him.