My head hurts. My heart aches. George Floyd’s tragic death is yet another stain on the fabric of our nation. It has taken me days to process the horrific video and has taken me even longer to formulate written words to express how I feel.
It pains me beyond words to recall that excruciating eight minutes and forty-six seconds. The entire ordeal is horrifying, unfair, inhumane, raw…agonizing. However, there is a singular moment one that is the most gut-wrenching of all. Mr. Floyd cries out for his mother, his deceased mother. And that anguishing cry of “Mama” struck a nerve that runs deep. I am a mother and Mr. Floyd’s cry broke my heart.
George Floyd’s cry was a familiar one, one that originated centuries ago, yet reverberates up through the centuries. It’s the shrill cry of slave children, on plantations and auction blocks, who were ripped away from their beloved mothers never to be reunited. It’s the muffled cry of a young enslaved woman dragged away from family only to be abused and violated by a vicious master. It’s the cry of an innocent Black man choking from the life-sapping grip of a noose tied to a tree limb. “Mama.”
I am a mother too, but I have no sons. But because I am not raising sons does not mean I can become idle. I love and am married to a Black man. I deeply love the Black men in my family and I cherish the relationships with the Black men I call friends. And so, as the mother of three girls, my job is crucial. I must pass this love of the Black man down to them. I am teaching my daughters to love, respect, and value Black men. I am teaching my daughters to pray for, support, and encourage Black men. I am raising daughters who know about and understand the Black man’s contribution to our world.
My heart grieves over the repeated injustices Black people, specifically Black men, continue to bear. I am a mother and I have maternal influence in this household. I remain dedicated to wielding that influence to raise up three young women ready, willing, and able to support their precious Black brothers made in the image of God.