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What If…?

It’s Me!



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I got a call this morning at 9:02AM: Alpha. Recardo. William. Emmanuel. They were waiting for Randelle.

With the phone on speaker, they shared with me their success of being selected for an internship with the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City. They were excited and so was I. These boys, my Big Sons, also belong to a category ofBig Sons students that I refer to as my Forever-Never-Former students. Although I am not currently teaching this group of students, I have been a part of their entire high school careers; and, I have written all of them recommendations, looked over personal statements, given them advice, listened to their expectations for my life, taken them on college tours, and / or shared in other major turning points in their lives. Their success is mine, too.

The call only lasted 4 minutes, but it spoke a lifetime about how opportunities change lives, the importance of having someone with whom to share experiences, and that our children–Black boys, deserve to experience lives in which they are embraced, not feared. Forever we will be connected to each other’s lives. The reasons may vary, but they will always be nothing less than my beautifully human, Black boys. With the support and advocacy and investment of others and myself, they will undoubtedly become beautifully human…men.

What if these boys were not ambitious enough to meet the opportunity to attend an internship at the Federal Reserve Back in New York when it was presented?

Approximately 30 minutes after midnight this morning, while inside of the Village Underground, a popular performance venue that hosts Cheryl Pepsi Riley’s Black Velvet Mondays Open Mic night with the amazingly talented Hot Chocolate Band, an overzealous, drunk White man, “Mr. Belligerent”, aggressively grabbed my hand and tried to give me an unsolicited hug. He was met with my requests to leave me alone and to let me go and reciprocal aggression because he repeatedly refused my requests. The interaction became so contentious that a Black man, “Mr. J”, seated in the booth next to me with his wife intervened by telling the man to move on. Apprehensively, the man moved away. Thank goodness for “Mr. J.”

photo (1)What if I felt a fear of imminent assault by “Mr. Belligerent” and proceeded to inflict harmful/deadly force upon him because of my feelings?

With every national confrontation and conversation of the Stand Your Ground Law, I am always driven to inquiry:

What if the deaths of Black boys weren’t discussed as hypothetical scenarios and talking points by socially empathetic people trying to make sense as to why so many keep getting killed without anyone being held criminally responsible for their deaths in the state of Florida under this Stand Your Ground Law?

What if due process actually applied to every citizen in Stand Your Ground trials?
What if the fear of imminent death white men like Michael Dunn felt as a result of being in the presence of young Black boys was real rather than simply a real excuse used to kill?


  1. zala514 says:

    I need to meet “Mr Belligerent!”

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