My son's favorite word is, "No." While age appropriate at 20 months, the thought of his natural defiance and rebellion meeting with the wrong officer when years replace months causes an anxiety in my chest that I find hard to shake. Zion is all energy and light wound tightly with strings of promise & mischief. I know, without question, that he will be great if afforded the freedom to... Be.
Because he is my adopted son, my notions of obligation carry the additional pressure of knowing I promised him more than what his biological mother was capable of. I am integral to the process of his removal and the burden to raise him seems insurmountable in these troubling times.
I cannot in good conscious teach him to cower & bow his head when he comes across a police officer. I cannot instruct him to blindly obey the words of a man no different from himself with no legal right to stop his movement or search his person. I cannot take away his natural inclination to say no. In this house, as my son, he will not be broken in preparation for an altercation. I pray that he will be able to walk the path laid before him with chest out & head high. I pray he is allowed to breathe.
I whisper to him as he dreams, "You are strong. I am proud of you. You are a defender of the race and a soldier for humanity."
#wecantbreathe #blackboysmatter #blackfeminism #blacklivesmatter