This is the popular post that has been widely and wrongly credited by me and others to Maya Angelou. Thank you, Kimberly, for putting your lovely touching words out there. And thank you, Kimberly´s sister for bringing my mistake to my attention! Having your words credited to Maya Angelou can´t be all bad, right?!?!
As a mother, I cried for Katherine Jackson because no mother should ever bury a child. Period. And I think about all the pain, tears and sleepless nights that she must have endured seeing her baby boy in inner pain, seeing him struggle with his self-esteem, and his insecurities and to know he often felt unloved even while the world loved him deeply. How does it feel to think that the unconditional love we give as mothers just isn't enough to make our children feel whole? I wonder if she still suffers thinking, "what more could I have done?" Even moms of music legends aren't immune to mommy guilt, I suppose.
When Rev. Al Sharpton ("who always delivers one" awesome "funeral speech") said to Michael's children, "Your daddy was not strange...It was strange what your Daddy had to deal with," I thought of all the "strange" things of the world that my children will have to deal with. Better yet, the things I hope they won't ever have to deal with anymore. And as a mother raising a young black boy, I feel recommitted and yet a little confused as to how to make sure my son is sure enough within himself to take on the world. Especially a "strange" one. To love himself enough to know that even when the world doesn't understand you, tries to force you into its mold or treats you unkindly, you are still beautiful, strong and Black. How do I do that?
Today, I am taking back "childhood" as an inalienable right for every brown little one. In a world, that makes children into booty-shaking, mini-adults long before their time, I'm reclaiming the playful, innocent, run-around-outside, childhood as the key ingredient in raising confident adults. Second, I will not rest until my little black boy, MY Michael, knows that his broad nose is beautiful, his chocolately brown skin is beautiful, and his thick hair is beautiful. And nothing or no one can ever take that away from him.
"Now aint we bad? And ain't we black? And ain't we fine? ---Maya Angelou