Dear Black Boys,
I'm sorry that I have to write to you this way.
I'm sorry that you had no choice but to be born in a society where it's still "ok" to be profiled solely based on the color of your skin.
My heart hurts because at some point your parents will have to sit you down and attempt to explain how you should conduct yourself in public. I'm sorry that they will have to remind that moment you were born a target was placed on your back.
Truth is, there is no real, reasonable explanation as to why you must gird yourself in a particular manner when you're a merely walking down the street, minding your own business. But "America" has decided that minding your business, walking home is grounds for someone to make assumptions, stalk you, then kill you, if they so choose.
I'm sorry that are more folks who would rather profile you as a hoodlum, thug, burglar than there are of those who would give you a chance to defy the stereotypes society has established way before you were even thought of. After 200 years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears I am sorry to tell you that there is still tons of work to be done.
I'm sorry that when you learn about Emmet Till you will also have to learn about Yusef Hawkins, James Bryd Jr.,Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin. No, one murder was not enough to provoke change, I'm sorry.
I urge you not to fear for your lives and those to come after yours but to fight for it! Change is your responsibility. We need not to wait on the next Dr. King for uprising change. Change starts with you. I'm sorry to tell you but , you are the change!
Black males will not be respected, honored and valued until black males respect, honor and value each other. No, brotherhood is not going to end the racial ignorance that's running rampant throughout our country but it will set a standard. America is watching. Watching to see how you will treat each other, how you will help one another, how you will care for another. You will teach America how to treat you and your brethren. I'm sorry to tell you, they are going learn from you.
Be the standard! Set it and stick to it.
I wish things were different. I wish you wouldn't have to worry about the value of the life of a black man. I'm sorry that our change has yet to come. But I'm prayerful and hopeful that the pursuit of change has only just begun.
I'm sorry that they probably won't mention the historic precedents, civil unrests and protests that were intended to evoke change in your history books. But that does not stop you from learning. Allow what you learn to stimulate you enough to strive to be what they say you can't and will never will become. Prove them wrong.
I'm sorry to tell that what you do is not just for you but for those that follow. Make what you do count.
I value you! I honor you. I cherish you. I understand how important black males are. Be the example and teach people the same.
A sister, daughter and future mother of a black boy