For Black Mommas who Bury Their Babies...
Who do you do it for?
Every year we make a commitment at the beginning of the school year. We talk about who we do the work we do for - who our inspiration is, who motivates us to keep moving forward, especially in the rough moments. This year, I chose black mommas.
Black mommas are excellence in the form of chocolate and honey. Black mommas are love and peace, comfort and warmth - black mommas are what makes this world keep going round and round. So I do it for them. I wake up every morning and tackle the unfairness of education for them. I do it because no black momma should ever have to bury her baby.
...Too many babies in suits…
At the beginning of this school year I went to a funeral. It was for a baby who was shot and killed while playing outside.
The year before that, there were two, and now, I’m preparing for yet another. It seems like every single year I lose a student; the cause is always different and the hurt is always the same. I find myself questioning my own sanity and my place in the madness, constantly having to come to terms with the joy and pain of the work.
The truth is, there is no way to come to terms with getting a call from your Principal on your off day to tell you that one of your former students passed away. There is no way to get used to going to the funeral of a 1st grader. There is no way to pour your heart and soul into the lives of children every single day and see their lives snatched as if they never existed and move forward without a scar.
But my pain is nothing compared to what their mothers endure. No mother should ever have to bury her child, and when a black mother has to it leaves a mark on me that I just cannot erase. It does not matter if it is a bullet, a swimming pool, a heart condition, or fate, no mother should have to say goodbye to her child as they are lowered into the ground.
My mother is a black mother. I will be a black mother one day. My black mother is the epitome of strength, but when I break a nail she cries. I know that losing me would break her, and I know that losing a child would break any mother. It is just not right. But, what can I do?
All I have to give is my everything. So, I do my best to help my kids see their worth because the world does not. I do my best to reinforce the work black mommas do, because even Superwoman had help. I do it because I have a black momma who gives her everything to me. So, this is for Black Mommas who bury their babies, because no mother deserves to. This is for you, because when you cry, your tears are valid. When you hurt, you have the right. When you love, it is for real. When you suffer, as does the earth.
Your sacrifice will be your glory.