In May 2015 Clint Smith, a poet and educator, published a poem called My hopes, dreams, fears for my future black son. It touched me on an other level because as I was reading it, I was thinking about my 2 year old son.
Here is the last part of the poem.
You are not a mistake. You are not a deficit. You are not something to be eradicated or rendered obsolete. You exist beyond pathology. You come from a lineage of those who built this country. You come from my grandfathers, one who toiled tobacco fields amid the ever-expanding pastures of Mississippi throughout his adolescence, the other who fought a war for a country that would spit at his feet as soon as he put down his gun. You come from grandmothers who dedicated their lives to teaching in communities where the quality of one’s education was subject to the whims of the state. You come from my parents, who both protected me from violence and made me feel whole. You are the manifestation of their unyielding commitment to overcome.
I hope the world you inherit is one in which you may love whomever you choose. I hope you read and write and laugh and sing and dance and build and cry and do all of the things a child should do.
I pray that you never have to stand on the other side of a fence and know that it is a world you cannot enter simply because of your skin.