Things I Want to Tell You, Before You're a Hashtag


I laid crying in the arms of a black man this morning. A black man whose existence I'm worried about being snatched away from him like the 114 others this year, alone. A number I'm sure may increase by the time I finish this post, because that's how frequently this is happening. I cried thinking about his well-being, along with the well-being of my black brother, my black friends and my black nephews. I am both infuriated and sad at the disregard for black life, in a space that was created on the backs of black people. And with this level of sadness and my shattered heart struggling to beat, I find it necessary to uplift. While I want to mobilize and set things ablaze, yelling obscenities until my throat gets sore, I want to continue to use my words to inspire. Still, somehow, with these emotions festering inside of me - emotions of hatred and bitterness toward those constantly striking us, that I struggled this morning to pray away - I want to be as much of a light as I can.

So today I want to tell you I love you and I care for you. That when the world can't stand the sight of you, I think you're beautiful. I think you're handsome. I think your being is delightfully unignorable. I think your life is valued and the purpose of it, invaluable. 
I want to tell you that you are the light and no matter how dark they want you to believe you are because of your skin, they'll never have enough power [read: white privilege] to dim that.

I want to tell you that while the rest of the world hates you, hates us, that you must choose to love yourself. That you must stand for your existence. I really want to tell you to be bold in your blackness. Be unapologetic about your history and your culture. To remind yourself and others of your kingdom/queendom. To remember that your story is made of far more riches than they want you to believe. I want to tell you that Jesus wasn't a white man with blue eyes, that he looks more like us than them. I want to tell you it's not an us versus them (but then I'd be lying). I want to tell you to teach your children our true origin – our true significance in this world – so they know the mark they can make. So they know the power they hold. 

I want to tell you that your rage is okay. That your reactions are justified. That I am right with you. All of you. Furious, frustrated and fearful of the future of myself and my black men. I want to tell you to hug your black children tight tonight, and every night thereafter. To hug your black husbands, boyfriends, and exes; fathers, brothers, and uncles; nephews, cousins and best friends. To band together as black people, wanting to see change, willing to work to enforce that change. To not burn sh*t up with the torch you just lit. 

I want to tell you how sick, sad and disgusted I am at the America we occupy in 2016; that police brutality [read: police murdering black folk] is the new form of legal lynching. I want to tell you that despite this, it will get better. That you'll be okay. That it won't – it can't – happen to you. That you're safe. That you're protected. That I'll protect you. 

 I want to tell you all these things and so much more, but I cannot, because I cannot stop crying. 

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