When you are a woman of a particular group, of a peculiar community, of a peculiar people, there are things that become too painful to bare. When you are a maiden or mother of a particular community, who has specialized in centuries, upon decades, of using creativity for the very survival of your people, there are some things, which are too painful to let go. There are certain feelings and auras, that continue to linger. In fact, they will not leave. What will happen is that they will push forward and onward into time. Attached with those feelings are memories. With those memories are names, and matched with those names are, faces! Looking into their eyes, you see their Souls giving life to whom they have inhabited.
Black America’s gardens and communities have seen this, continuously. We have observed the pain of our sons (and daughters) being gunned down, shut down, and broken down. Nevertheless, we have fought. We were vocal. Mothers and fathers even gave their lives to protect their sons. Even with the wisdom, the knowledge, and the guidance to be careful. That famous talk we are expected to have, sometimes, just sometimes, it isn’t enough! The murders of George Lloyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Delrawn Small, Emmet Till. . . The list goes on. To the lifeless minds, they were criminals. Yet, to our sight, they were our sons. Our brothers. Our husbands. Our partners. Our lovers. Our uncles. Our friends. Their eyes are the faces of us. And so, as those lingering feelings take place, as they bring forth memories, from past times to present learnings, allow this love letter to restore them, anew.
Dear Fallen Son,
We are angry. Angry because you were innocent. Not only were you innocent, but you were targeted. They wanted you to die. Sick minds corrupted in wanting to feel powerful and mighty against “the Negro.” Re-living their past time “fun” and “picnics” as they decided to lynch you a little differently, this time around. Burned corpses and castrations were not enough! This time they wanted to enrich in full satisfactions of a “slow death.” They had to enjoy it. They had to immerse themselves in seeing life escape you. A sickened satisfaction for their vile fulfillment. And even then, they were not satsified.
Others were able to watch that grotesque sight. So many watched you take your last breaths, Mr. Floyd. Yet, I could not. It was mental torture. A level of agony, where, I too, felt that I was losing breath. The thought of a group of men, who were able to sit idly and observe your state of lifelessness, is beyond sickening. In fact, they were already dead. I guess they wanted you to join them.
Dear fallen son, your image is no different from decades before. Of centuries before. This sick addiction in watching Black American men (and women) gasp for life; knowing that they had the power to stop it. Knowing that during those times, they had the power to stop it. Yet, they wanted just that, power. In their own racist narcissism, they wanted to play God. It made them feel like men. Psychotic and diseased in their mind.
Dear fallen son, I can’t help but notice that you called on, mother. Over and over again, you called on Mom. As you know that she is the one who was your life giver. You called her name, for you know the power of Mother. And, in your faith in her, you felt that in the very mention of her name-of those precious words-that you could call upon, her. Your mother. Contrary to what society tried to ingrain in you, you knew that you were not, motherless. You knew that you had a cultural, feminine image, that birthed you, and would continue to re-birth you over and over again, no matter how they tried to get you to forget. No matter the lies in trying to tell you that you had no culture, no mother, no feminine image of your own birthing and soiling, you remembered! And, you called her name!
Dear fallen son of Black America’s garden, we know that you hear us. Your Spirit is lingering near, and you are hear. Now, you can do greater work than what could be imagined. Your words breathe across our minds. The air carries them into the spaces where our people are tired. Blowing them, whispering them through the evolving and continuation of our people. That Black America’s gardens will continue to bloom. That her daughters will tend to the soiling, laying the foundation for their sons, lovers, and husbands. You spread your words for us to hear. And, Baby, we hear them! We hear them, well!
We held our breaths, in watching you gasp. And, in turn, we were left breathless. As an ancestor, we need your guidance, in order to. . .breathe again. There are many more like you. Many more whose stories have remained hidden. There are many more who cry out from the spiritual world, in need of justice. In need for their stories to be told. Give us the courage, strength, and wisdom to march on. Provide us with the spiritual nourishment of hope and endurance. This walk, as others before, will be long. Many times we don’t understand why things happen. Yet, your story has awakened the fire of many. Give us the Spirit of patience and strength. Push us through in how we handle the loss of our daughters and sons. Bring healing into our hearts. Yet, let us know that we should not forget. Sustain us with life’s air, and fruition of courage and love.
Dear fallen husband, Black America’s warrior, lover, son, and friend. Breathe! Send breaths to us now. From the spiritual world, we need mental clarity. Let the gardens of Blackened soiling for US’s fruition to speak balance into our hearts! Let the children of Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Paul Robeson, James Baldwin, and countless more feel your breaths; that they may breathe them in hopeless lives. Knowing that when one breath has fallen, millions more will arise.
So as it is written, it shall be!