To my unborn child,
I write these words as I sit in a cell for a crime I did not commit. Watching as the country struggles with police brutality, social, racial, and criminal injustice, as well as a health pandemic that’s killing African Americans at an alarming rate. I sit here knowing that one day these walls will no longer confine my body.
I will one day help in bringing you forth with your beautiful mother and my Queen. But I worry what kind of world am I bringing you into? What will be the mindset of the people and other children you will have to interact with? Because hatred is a taught emotion. Will they judge you because of your skin? Will you be given a fair opportunity to succeed? Will your family’s history of drug selling, and drug use have others look upon you as a lost cause to a repeated cycle of despair? Knowing this, I must capture this moment to express how I feel. Because if I don’t ever meet you or if my life is cut short because of the changes I made in my life, I need to know my thoughts will be impregnated in your conscious. How do I protect you from a system so rooted in racism that it goes back hundreds of years and yet so many are so called blind? How do I protect you knowing that you will be judged simply by the color of your skin and not by the content of your character?
I know you will be able to the weather any storm because from me you came. A strong black man, a warrior, a King and dare I say a god on the scene. I will write my history and step into it proudly. I will teach you of our ancestors and of our cultural past. We were Kings and Queens who ruled vast lands. We built and invented many things that make this country great and powerful. But my child, sadly you won’t hear of this in your textbooks or spoken about amongst your peers. As your father, I must take on this righteous duty to civilize you and give you a proper knowledge of yourself and your proper origin. I refuse for you to believe that slavery was your beginning and that you came from a jungle uncivilized and unlearned.
In these words I will instill in you self-pride and love for your skin and your culture. Black is beautiful and let no one tell you otherwise. You can’t wear a crown if your head is down. So, look up and walk proud. Never be afraid of any man or woman for God is the only one you should fear. Dream beyond the stars for your dreams and your life can’t be limited. Your climb to the top won’t be easy but remember when climbing a mountain it has bumps and cracks for a reason, if the mountain was smooth you wouldn’t be able to climb to the top.
If you ever wonder why I decided to write this in prison, know that here when I was at my lowest, when my so-called friends and family abandoned me and left me for dead, I found a gift never given to me by your grandparents and that’s a knowledge of myself and my ancestors. This is where I regained my vision and love for myself and my people. I owe a huge debt to the sacrifices, the blood, sweat, and tears that afforded me the opportunity to push our culture forward. I must take my knowledge and pass it on.
My fear is your greatness will stun the oppressors of our people and they will try to silence you. But as I told you, so must I live in fear of no man but Allah! He will protect you and guide you as you join the fight for change. Struggle is ordained so take it on with pride. Listen to the greats that came before you and follow their path so that you won’t fall into the snares of the enemy. Fight hard for your rights to have the same respect and opportunities given to you.
To my unborn child I love you and never let anyone tell you otherwise. God willing, I will guide you to my last breath and you will make sure our legacy is left. We all must be great followers behind great pillars of change but don’t get comfortable because one day you will have to grab the wheel and lead your people to the promise land. I love you……my unborn child!