Black Children

Several months ago, my little one and I were at a fast food place, waiting for our order. An older Black man walked in, dressed to the nines. It was a Sunday, so I’m guessing he had just come from church. He stopped in front of us, and gazed at my son. My toddler, who was playing with his toy, looked back. He flashed a grin. The older Black man raised an eyebrow.  “Your boy has Sidney Poitier’s smile.” He said. Then he gave us the required Black head nod and wobbled away to stand in line.

The encounter with the older Black man, sums up my interactions with Black folks when I am with my child. They are usually loving, and say encouraging words.  I think it’s because they understand Black children aren’t appreciated in our society. I mean, we live in a country, where non-Black people will argue passionately why it was okay for a 12-year old child to be murdered carelessly by police (Tamir Rice).

We don’t get the same warmth from white folks. Since we live in a majority white city, when we’ve attended play groups at the library, park, or wherever…white parents dominate. Usually, they ignore us. And if they do give us any kind of attention it tends to be in annoyance or confusion. White parents generally have no respect for Black parents. They also keep a suspicious eye on my son, while their child is tearing up the place.

Recently, my little one and I were at a store. I stood in the aisle trying to remember the things I needed to get, as my son sat in his stroller. There was an older white woman, across from us, waiting in the pharmacy line. My son waved at her and said “Hi!”with his signature smile.

The white woman looked at him, curled up her lips, and rolled her eyes. I couldn’t believe it. It took everything out of me not to pop her eyeballs out. Then she would have nothing to roll. Instead, I casually walked passed her, and gave her the middle finger. Her face turned red, and she quickly walked to the front of the line. She better had.

Sadly, it’s not the first time I’ve seen white folks act like “shitholes” to my kid. White supremacy/privilege/racism is such…most white folks can’t even stop themselves from being hateful to Black children.

The Opposite of ‘Monkey’ Isn’t ‘royalty’; It’s ‘Human’

So, H&M’s antics didn’t really surprise me.  As more grown Black folks are becoming “sick and tired of being sick and tired” and resisting/organizing against white supremacy, like never before, Black children are easy targets. They are innocent and impressionable. They haven’t learned yet how to counter anti-blackness.

And no. I don’t care if the mother doesn’t care her son was humiliated for the globe to see. Some Black folks use denial as a way to escape white violence. Also, I believe the mother lives overseas. She probably doesn’t know that monkey images have been used consistently in American culture to degrade Black folks. Plus, we are living in a Trump world. White supremacists are trying their hardest to bring back the “good old days.” A time when they could abuse Black folks anyway they wanted, and faced no consequences.

There is an agenda to destroy Black children. That’s why it’s easy to leave them freezing in a public school.  Black parents have to stay vigilant and fight white supremacist attacks on our kids.


smile (2)
The little one…showing his “Sidney Poitier” smile.

Author: Tonya J.

I enjoy reading, writing, and traveling!

2 thoughts on “Black Children”

  1. Reading through your write up, a recurring psychology is displayed, the need for white approval and acceptance.

    As a black man, I feel more warmth around people who look like me and I also extend that warmth to those who look like me, and guess what, most of the time it’s sub-conscious. I don’t even intend on acting a certain way, I just do.

    And guess what, I don’t really care for the company of those who don’t look or think like me, it’s whatever, if they’re there they’r’e there. I prefer that they’re not.

    White people being more hostile towards your son is in large part societal but it’s also natural because we as humans naturally gravitate and appreciate those who are similar to us.

    When encountering white people or any other people for that matter, assume that they don’t give a shit about you or your son.

    Black boys and girls holding hands and being one, is a mythology, it happens in the schools but in the real world people divide among racial and ehtnic lines and you need to teach your son the value of himself but importantly the value of his people.

    Furthermore, you need to let him know that the opinion of other ethnic groups about who he is doesn’t matter and he should see color and act to empower those who are his color.

    1. Well, I was really looking at how white supremacy is targeting Black children, now that grown Black people are getting to hip to the game. Black parents wanting white folks to treat their children with respect…is not about seeking white approval. It’s about having our humanity recognized. Isn’t that what Black Lives Matter is about? It isn’t because we want white people to “like” us but treat us with dignity. Their inability to “see” us is why it’s so easy for them to shot our children in cold-blood. It’s why white teachers are the biggest contributors to the “school-to-prison pipeline” because of their lack of empathy for Black children. Hell yeah, it’s bothersome to me that a white person would be rude to my child when he was simply being a child and saying “hi.” I’m going to call that shit out all day everyday. But thanks for the comment.

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