Why would a mother—and my friend Vanessa is one of the most thoughtful loving mothers I know—beg her son, with closely shorn hair, to not wear his hood on a morning when temperatures are below freezing? Vanessa, whose son is black, resists the maternal urge to preserve her son’s health in deference to the instinct to ensure his safety: she wants her baby home alive at the end of a cold day.
Vanessa knows what black folks in America know and white folks are discovering: that the shooting of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown and twelve-year-old Tamir Rice aren’t isolated incidents. They’re part of a pattern in which mamas of black sons must be afraid every day that the dark skin of their sons—ones with hoodies and ones without hoodies—will make someone else feel anxious enough to shoot them, to kill them.
My friend Micky has two sons who are black. I also have two sons, one who is white and one who is Indian. Micky and I are inviting other mamas to speak about what it’s like to be raising your son in America right now at Moms Speak Truth. We’re convinced that because each one of us can only experience the world in the skin we’re in, we need desperately to hear and know the stories of other moms like us.
Here are two of them:
What’s your story?
We’re inviting moms across the country to share, in 30-90 seconds, what it’s like to be raising your boy right now. We know that some mamas, still traumatized by recent events, are feeling too raw to speak. If that’s you, we pray that God would continue to heal your heart. But if you’re willing to speak to other moms on video, or can share this opp with a mom who’d like to speak: