Keeping My Future Child Safe

This post was originally written at the time of the Trayvon Martin murder. We are reposting it now in light of the recent George Floyd murder.

I have just been so sad since the story of the Trayvon Martin case came out.

I’m pregnant but don’t know if I’m having a boy or a girl. I have to admit that one little part of me, deep deep inside, has hoped Honey Badger is a boy. Someone to carry on the family “name,” which is an absolutely archaic conceit that I’m ashamed to admit that I even give any credence. But, there it is. And of course, I would love a girl too — any baby is a blessing.

But I’ve just been feeling so much pressure now of what it means to possibly be bringing up a black boy in this world. And I am so pre-emptively afraid. What if I don’t teach this kid about how to act in front of police officers? How do I help him understand that he needs to be compliant around people who would find him “suspicious,” even if he’s done nothing wrong, without breaking his little spirit?

This is really the first time I have felt the huge responsibility of doing this without a man in the house who may be able to explain life in a way that I simply cannot. Because although I am black, I’m not a black MAN, facing the unique concerns that exist for black men.

I imagine that it’s the pregnancy hormones that are getting to me right about now, but I just can’t think about Trayvon and his family without wanting to cry. I’m not going to go into what I think about the shooter’s guilt or innocence — there is a lot that is not known, and that’s a different topic. I’m just thinking, how do you keep your kids SAFE? I have wondered recently whether I’m actually brave enough to do this. Bad time to suddenly develop misgivings….

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