Black Lives Matter Month…sheesh, what a challenging topic for me at times. I shared my experience with a new high school graduate in my last blog and all the excitement. I didn’t share the paralyzing fear I felt just thinking about him driving home or even with his friends at night. I left out the part when I researched Sun Down Towns (they are still a thing) and if I’d have to travel through any on the road alone with my little one on the way to football games. Even now, I watch his location when he’s out late. I can’t even begin to express the number of times I’ve cried and prayed.
RELATED READING :: This Momma Says: Black Lives Matter
I was talking with a friend about how even to approach this post. I wasn’t sure how and after a bit of thinking, I simply decided – with honesty. My honest thoughts are that BLM month is a thing because a very real problem exists. It’s crushing to think that we have to utter the words to express that our lives matter! I understand that this is supposed to raise awareness and show support, but gosh, why?
Being a part of Austin Moms has been such a great experience because the love and support is so real and genuine. I appreciate the creative space even to share this. I guess that’s the other point I’d like to make. It’s not enough to feel pressure and say, “I have black friends.” Don’t make it weird! Be genuine.
If you’re looking to support and don’t want to “make it weird,” here are a few things to help.
- You don’t have to buy all the Juneteenth attire or themed products. Adding black, red, and yellow to the packaging doesn’t really help with the change. If you’d like to make purchases like this, do a little research. Are the proceeds supporting a black cause or business? Is the product from a black-owned business? Target (because we all love it there) is amazing with carrying black-owned brands year-round.
- Check-in with your black momma friends from time to time. Give them the space to be transparent about how they are feeling. Sometimes our hearts are heavy, and we need a good cry. Sometimes listening is the best thing.
- Talk to your kiddos – About a month ago, my daughter’s teacher messaged me to tell me that a kid looked at her and yelled, “I hate black people!” I dropped everything I was doing and drove to the school just to hug her. My sweet baby girl was so forgiving. She expressed that maybe he just didn’t know. Change starts at home. Sometimes having those tough talks is where it begins.
- Don’t wait until Black Lives Matter month or Black History month to support. The underlying problem is ongoing, and so should our quest to pursue change. Whatever ever that looks like for you, be consistent.
I’m thankful to be in this community that hasn’t made it weird. The love and support has been so real, and it is appreciated. It’s a big deal to be a part of spaces and organizations that actually believes your life matters. The world is so full of so many forms of unimaginable ugliness. We all need a safe space!