Sunday, September 25, 2016

His Life Matters

The little black boy at the bagel shop, while he couldn't be more than seven, reminds me of Huey Freeman from The Boondocks: a shock of wild hair framing an intelligent face and curious brown eyes. His mother pays for his bagel, and the man behind the counter hands him the brown paper bag with a smile, for which the kid thanks him in a sweet, piping voice.

It hits me all at once, a shrinking, sinking feeling in my heart - this boy's mom is going to have to give him "the talk" someday soon, about how to be careful around cops, about how to talk to white people who will be scared of him, about how to dress and act so as not to attract undue attention from those who will judge him, fear him, possibly put him in jail or even kill him, just because he's black.

But for now, he takes his mother's hand without hesitation and, swinging the bag in his other hand, walks with her out into a sunny, blue sky Sunday, while the man behind the counter, still smiling, watches them go.
Two years ago today: So Close, Yet So Far
Three years ago today: All Us Babies

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