A Letter to my Future Son
I want to start by apologizing to you. This is not the world I wanted you to be born into by any means. Your life won’t be easy and no amount of my love can change the way people will see you. And for that I apologize. I never wanted this for you.
I can only hope that my love is enough to guide you through a world that is ill-prepared to deal with you. I can only hope that my guidance is enough to make up for teachers and an education system that are ill-equipped to prepare you for the world that awaits you. I can only hope that the people who inhabit said world are prepared to accept you and what you offer, that they can see you and the things that you offer, that they see past the color of your skin when making judgments of your character.
Unfortunately this is not the state of the world you are inheriting and for that I must apologize. Teachers will single you out, policemen will single you out and so will random, misguided citizens. I feel that it is my job to prepare you for these possibilities, not to shelter you from them. And to teach you to never look at this as your burden. Your race is no burden to you, those who will judge you for it are carrying the burden of ignorance.
And while being a young black male may be enough for some to criminalize you, don’t ever carry yourself to their standards. Always hold your head high and be proud of the person that you are. I don’t mean to frighten you or harden you to the world that awaits you. But I, more than anyone, want you to keep your spark, your penchant for laughing and your thirst for life. i want you to keep your drive and desire to do well. And if you’ve lost it, don’t worry. We will work together to piece it together.
I will tell you I love you every day. And I will kiss and hug you every day. And I will tell you how smart, and kind, and wonderful you are. You may hate it but know that I do these things because I want you to know the real you. The worst thing that can happen is that you start to take the portrait that society paints of you as reality.
At some point in your life, someone will think that you are something that you are not (a criminal, a rapper, an athlete, suspicious) because of your race. But my hope is that it won’t affect you because I will spend your entire life telling you what you are. Though you are no more than a glimmer in my eye, know that I love you deeply and that I will continue to fight to make this world fit for you until the day we part.
Until We Meet,