"The feeling of being 12 years old and waking up in the middle
of the night and somebody in yo room. Yo heart starts beating so fast you can hear it pumping. The veins in yo temple pulsate as you stare at the intruder. Then after a few minutes, you realize he ain't moving. So finally you let 'em hang and turn on the light and the killer turns into yo coat throwed over the chair.
The feeling of sitting at the red light early in the morning and two or three motherfuckers cross the street. Yo senses heighten, reflexes sharpen vision's enhanced adrenaline flows as they rush across the street you leave the print from the heater grip in yo palm then yo heart rate and breathing drag back to normal as you realize these niggas just
goin' to the store.
Many of us mistake Phobia for true fear. Whereas fear is a gift from God to be used for self-preservation. Phobia are obstacles strategically placed in society by opposers of positive existence. Through stereotyping, innuendo, false documentation, and glorification they'll turn your fear switch to a permanent on. We can change this by changing
the small truth within' the lie. Death is a small price to pay for
respect. Death is a small price to pay for respect. You know who it is. You know what it is. Peace out." -Excerpt from the track "Phobia" by OutKast from the movie "Higher Learning" (Shout out to the 90's babies)
This is life for many people...in a state of heightened fear and constant stress. Everything is a threat. Your perception of people who look like you is so skewed that seeing a small group of people running in your direction puts you on edge. You see the world as a dangerous place. You trust no one. This is the reality for many black children in this country. It's killed or be killed. "I gotta get you before you get me." A whole generation of children who have known nothing but fear their entire lives, within as well as outside of the home.
Imagine if even in the scariest circumstances, these kids could come home and drop the armor they've built up to protect them from the world and just be themselves. If they could wake up every day, even on days when the fridge is bare, to hugs and words of affirmation. If they were allowed to cry and voice their opinions and be fully human. Yes, the world outside is scary and violent, but in here...in this home...there is love and empathy and gentleness. We as parents can't control what our kids experience outside of our homes. We can only control ourselves and the energy our home exudes. We have to be willing to work on our emotional health to heal generational wounds in order to create this safe space for our children.
According to Journal of Pediatrics, suicide attempts among black children and teens are increasing at alarming rates. Which is why our homes should be safe havens, free from violence and a bunch of toxic bullshit, where our children can be free to express themselves and release their emotions. Because if our homes are as harsh, unforgiving and punitive as the world, where is it safe to be a black child?