People ask me all the time why I am willing to drive my children across town to a school, that’s not in the “best neighborhood.”
My response is both simple and complex.
For one, the schools they are zoned to attended are not the best.
Which would force us to have to put them in a private institution.
However, we did not want them to be the “token black kids” at school.
Thankfully, we were able to find a school that has a great curriculum and they wouldn’t be the “token black kids” because frankly almost everyone at their school is black. The administration is black, the teachers black, the students…black.
One of my biggest fears is that my children won’t love themselves.
I know right now, being black feels trendy.
Being black right now seems hot and celebrated —
but that’s only when the culture is appropriated.
Society really doesn’t love us foreal.
Folks didn’t love the cornrows we have been rocking for centuries until they saw the Kardashians rocking them.
I would feel awful if I sent my children daily to space where they are only tolerated and not celebrated.
I would feel awful if they were in a space, that as they try to find and love themselves- they have to deal with microaggressions.
You know the ones where —
your name is repeatedly mispronounced, or
when your teacher is SURPRISED that you have two parents in your household —
or when your teacher compliments how well you speak
(although you speak like your white counterparts and you’ve never heard their speech mentioned).
Subjecting them to these microaggressions can be detrimental, because those things can become their internal voice and that voice can lead to so much self doubt, trust me I know.
But my fear is deeper than the microaggressions, my fear is because of the outright hatred of those who look like me and my children.
My fear is that my 10-year-old son can be playing with his friends and be gunned down like 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
My fear is that my children could become another hashtag, among the hundreds of black men, women, and children who have been MURDERED simply because the color of their skin caused someone to be in fear of their life.
Whewwww. Being a parent is tough.
Does the school that my children attend eliminate this fear?
But, it helps to reinforce the message that we teach at home.
You are black AND YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
Thanks for rocking with the Queen.
Written By Queen. Edited By Herstun.
Again we are so happy to have Marcus the Visual back to re-run this ATL collaboration. Tuskegee Heirs is a current series that is in progress, also check out Super Natural Woman, and most of these images are for sale as prints, t-shirts, or in book format.
Marcus the Visual has an amazing children’s author working with in Greg Burnham. The two have a couple of books and projects together including —
After a surprising discovery one day, a little girl learns there is much more to her grandpa’s story than she once thought! “I used to think that all he could do was watch the news, listen to blues, and sometimes say, ‘Baby Girl, hand me my shoes.’