Dear Black Mother:

To the Black Mother that has to be at work at 9, despite it being summertime with limited options for reasonable childcare in this city, yet gets evil stares on the Greenline platform for putting your Black, 10 year-old son in charge of your Black, 7 year-old daughter while directing them to grandma’s house as you board your train to work, leaving them standing as a duet. I see your efforts. I understand that you are trying to provide. So I pray soft prayers of protection over your babies when I see them. I wonder if they hear your voice when problems arise. So I speak to God again for them to remain carefree on their way to the babysitter you have arranged. Hoping they think of the experience as a new adventure and God clears your mind of worries about Tamir’s murderer having a trigger-happy twin in Chicago; the gang’s bullets that leave kids collected in body bags on our community’s corners; the panhandler that might pick a fight with a pint-sized target; or the chance that the person they are traveling has an emergency that you are simply unaware of and your babies have to wait on their sitter’s stoop. Those stares that tried to seer your back without seeking to overtsand the struggles atop your shoulders, are ammunition for the ambition your children witness in you. Everyone else, who knows the love of a Black Mama, understand you care. 

Sincerely, Tyra 


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