Unlike many of my peers, I made a point of not watching or following the Derek Chauvin trial. I couldn’t see his face without being brought back to the last time I had seen him – mercilessly killing George Floyd, by keeping him from taking life-giving breaths. Kneeling on the neck of a Black man, a father, a son, a brother. I could not put myself through that trauma – again. When I heard the news of his conviction, my first feeling wasn’t actually that of relief but one of anger. Why did it take the videotaped death of another unarmed Black man sparking nationwide and international protests for justice (arguable) to be “served?” Why were we all waiting on pins and needles hoping that this time, the justice system prevails? Why did we have to celebrate the justice system actually working? I wasn’t relieved, I was pissed.
That same day, I took a long walk with my son who is now a full head above me. While enjoying the beautiful weather and simple conversation, my mind couldn’t help but go to the fact that my baby, who I carried in my womb, is now considered a threat to society. My mind couldn’t help but consider the many mothers who have had to unnaturally bury their children due to murder, many mothers who look just like me. Again, I became pissed. Why couldn’t I simply enjoy just taking a walk down the road with my son? Why do I live in a world where I can’t look at my firstborn without the fear of someone hurting him? Why do so many Black mothers have to experience these same emotions? Why??!
Oftentimes, the black community is lauded internally and externally for our strength, our ability to soar above all odds. Today, I’m not celebrating the ability of the black community to be “magical,” but the resilience of the black community to keep showing up. Sometimes, the best I can do is not stay inside my bed. Sometimes, the best I can do is not flip out on people and display all of the anger and frustration I feel inside. Sometimes, the best I can do is to keep doing my job, keep raising my kids, keep loving on my husband, keep being available for those who need me. Sometimes, the only resilience that I have is not giving up. Sometimes, resilience is just showing up.