I’m tired. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. With the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and now George Floyd. I’m tired of the disregard of black bodies. I’m tired of our humanity being constantly questioned, examined, and ultimately dismissed. I don’t know what to do or what happens next, but I know I will not beg anyone to recognize my humanity. I will not make any pleas to individuals or organizations that do not respect people that look like me. I’m tired of those of us with more melanin having to find solutions to a problem we never created. I refuse. I will not educate anyone on what’s happening, what has happened, and what seems will continue to happen. I mainly grow weary with my own thoughts on the world my children have to inhabit.
Nearly four years ago on a sweltering summer day, Julia and I had “that conversation” with our then five year old daughter. Anyone black living in America is familiar with what that conversation entailed. We were watching our local news station as they were reporting on protests happening in downtown Atlanta that peaked with a standoff in the middle of one of the busiest highways in America. The protests were a sign of solidarity that the people of Atlanta displayed to the people of Baton Rouge lamenting the death of Alton Sterling. Our oldest child is among the most inquisitive and perceptive children out there. She asked what everyone was doing outside and why the news was covering it. Julia and I exchanged a very quick, yet solemn glance with each other then thoughtfully explained the best we could to a child that hadn’t even started kindergarten yet. Interestingly enough, that wasn’t our first conversation with Zora about race, color, or self-respect. She’s been hyper aware of who she is and whose she is. Zora is now a year older than when Aiyana Jones was taken away from us sooner than was conceivable. That was ten years ago and absolutely nothing has changed. Unfortunately, nothing will.
I’m not here to deliver solutions or reprimand my brothers and sisters to be the epitome of perfection. I’m just here to grieve, to rage, to find solace, and eventually have a reason to smile. I don’t have any answers and I don’t owe any. I’m angry and that’s more than enough.