Yesterday, I was working in my office and I heard my grandson Zion run hard past my door headed outside talking about a picnic at the zoo. He came back in, saw me and decided I was a lion in my natural habitat and he was coming through just to view me. As he approached, I roared much to his excitement. I immediately realized I’d messed up because he would want me to play all afternoon.
He convinced Ms Tammie to go out again and this time he was #MartinLutherKing and she was #RosaParks waiting on the bus. You see Ms Jean rides Marta mobility and he fully expected that on Saturday that she’d show up for choir rehearsal. As ‘Martin’ who loved animals came to view me (he’s four) I heard him say that this time I was a bear. I changed offices(habitats), so naturally to an imaginative four year old I was an entirely different animal.
I had become so caught up in what was going on in Charlottesville and watching Pastor #TraciBlackmon’s videos and #MSNBC, that I missed my opportunity to growl. “Martin’ came closer to me and looked at my screen. He saw the ugliness and the hatred, he saw bottles and cans, he heard the screams and fear in voices. He slid into my lap and watched. Then just as quickly as he had come with no questions and without missing a beat starts chanting with fists pumping running out of my office and down the hall screaming “SAY IT LOUD, I’M BLACK AND I’M PROUD” I heard him finally say I gotta go preach.
The joke in our household is that the 4 year old black pride Zion is going to get put out of that nice privileged school he attends. Truth is in many instances his excitement of who he is isn’t welcomed in many places. Watching Charlottesville yesterday took many of us back 50 years. Recently, our family reunion went to The Lorraine Hotel Museum. We were taken back to a time we’ve spent so much time trying forget. There were burned buses, rioters, reason for discomfort and fear. Beautiful bronze full bodied statues of six foot men in a 3 foot square in the same position they were in coming over in the bottom of slave ships. It was all too overwhelming for me. The kids ran in and out of buses, through displays, listening to speeches, the older ones reading to the younger ones, but they didn’t appear too stressed. I realized that all we and our parents had fought in the 60s, they see us fighting for again. This horror that parents in my generation tried hard to shield and protect children from is exactly what my four year old grandson each and every day sees and experiences. Many days he’d get in trouble in school because he happens to be more vocal, smarter and very sure of himself. He’s a threat. At least in the eyes of those who believe them to be protecting the empire. The powers that be.
Yesterday, while watching #Charlottesville unfold, I remembered the day I watched Omar be Omar and I was afraid that others intimidation of his brilliance his charm his wit would make them not want to play with him. I almost tried to convince him to cower down to accommodate and assimilate to what the empire deemed right. To fall in line. But instead I prayed. I prayed that God would bless my son and daughters to be proud of their skin color in whatever shade of black they were. That they would be happy to be #nappy. That they would know that in God’s image, they were created to stand out. I prayed that they would know God’s righteousness, justice, love and truth in their hearts and on their lips. I prayed that my fears would not hinder them from knowing that they are created in the image od God, equal in the eyes of God, that God loves and cares for and about them and the empire be damned. I prayed that my children would learn that they didn’t need the empire, but that they simply needed God. That in prayer and supplication, God would meet them at their need and they would not fear any man woman boy or girl. I prayed that they knew that they were enough. I prayed that I would believe God’s word concerning them was true and that Dude and I would trust God for our children’s lives and the lives of their children and their children.
I tried to teach my children that the best they could do is to love themselves, and to believe in the power of the Holy Ghost and the #Righteousness of God. That in following God, they could essentially walk on water and not fear or get caught in the distractions of other people’s crap and sink. That no one who believes in God will be put to shame. It doesn’t say jokers won’t try you, simply that the Power of the Holy will sustain you.
Friday night and Saturday morning I saw people who did not know who they were in God, who believe their power and worth is in statues and monuments of hate and bigotry. People who participate and live out evil. I have given those jokers to the Lord. I don’t even profess to be able to pray for them. The Bible has taught me to resist the devil and he will flee. I will continue to resist hatred and bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and just regular old contrary mean and nasty people ad situation.
I believe God’s word that there is neither jew nor greek, slave nor free, male nor female, we are all one in God. Created in #God’s image. Just like I am. I stand with Zion and with your children and their children proudly and LOUDLY proclaiming: I am Created in the Image of God and I’m #BLACK and I’m Proud!