It is difficult to be Black in America. I don’t presume to speak for all Black people, but I know how I feel. To face lethal hatred and racism on an individualized level (Travon Martin, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile…) and to also face that same lethal hatred and racism en masse in enraged white faces in the dark of night, lit by torches evoking the lynch mobs that extinguished so many of my people before me—it is just too much. To be able to draw parallels regarding the treatment of Black people from 1917 to 2017 is just simply unreal and more than any one person, anyone people, should have to bear.
To wake up each day and determine that you will be the best version of yourself in a city, state, a country that seems to want to mute your very existence—this is a heavy thing. To turn on the evening news and have to explain the terms “mob” “hate” and “race” to your four year old is painful. To have to tell her that people hate her because of who she is and how she looks—that’s utter agony.
But I can’t stay in this place. I push forward. I keep fighting. The only reason I exist today is because my ancestors did the same. And I owe it to them, I owe to my children, to my people to continue to be my best self and stand up and give a voice to the voiceless and bring hope and restoration to broken places.
And no, hope and restoration may not come in the form of a grand speech in front of millions of people, or even martyrdom. But I know that I can push forward, show love, and bring hope in my daily life: in the legal representation that I give to people, in the way I teach my children to love themselves no matter what anyone else says about them, in my utter refusal to hate people who hate me. I will continue to move forward, to press forward. I will continue to show love. That is my Father’s will—for us to love one another as He loves us. And as I pray daily, let my Father’s will be done.