There are times when we are left with no words to convey the overflow of emotions that fills us. No words because to utter a word, would cause something akin to a volcanic explosion to erupt inside of us. This is pretty much how I felt when Alton Sterling and Philando Castile lost their lives at the hand of those who swore to serve and protect them. Their senseless deaths caused more senseless acts of violence that have now resulted in the loss of the lives of law enforcement officers both in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana causing more families to suffer because of the careless and cowardice acts of a few.
All of these acts have filled me with fear and rightfully so, for I am a black woman, the child of a black man and black woman. I am married to a black man. I have four black brothers. I have three black nephews. My uncles are black and my male cousins are black, and from where I stand, their lives matter.
You see, the word black in the phrase Black Lives Matter makes all the difference, and NO!, I am not here today to defend the notion that Black Lives Matter because that should go without saying. But what I am here to share is how my love for my black family matters.
You see, my husband is a tall dark-skinned man. At close to 6’3″, he towers over my 5’3″ frame. He has a raspy voice (that he has passed on to his daughter), and what’s more, when he speaks, he is quite animated with his movements. I’d like to think that these qualities make him handsome and unique as they are part of the reason why I love him, but to the outside world, these same qualities make him a menace and a threat.
Of course he can be a tough guy, but he is a sweetheart too. You see, he is the only son of black parents and the baby brother of his only sister. He is the only uncle to his two lovely nieces, and the father to three beautiful daughters. What’s more, he is my husband.
Since the deaths of Alton and Philando, I have been silent here on the blog, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been thinking, and here is what I’ve concluded. Maybe, I should write a letter about my husband and have it notarized. A letter that he can carry around with him in his car. A letter that declares that his life has value and outlines why his life matters with the anticipation that the next time he is stopped by a police officer who feels otherwise, he can pass this letter on to him/her, along with his license and registration. Pass it on as an affadavit of his importance. And hopefully, when the officer reads this letter, maybe then will my husband’s life mean something to him/her especially since the argument has been made that my tall, dark-skinned, raspy-voiced, sometimes animated husband is both loved and needed by so many people. Maybe then his life will matter even though he happens to be black.
Now that I know what ignorance and bigotry looks like, I have to speak out against it. I had to say something.
How much blood do we have to bleed, how many tears do we have to cry before the human in me is equal to the human in everyone else? Inspired by my black brother!