My Mother’s Eyes

Today, as I was walking out the door to an appointment, my mother grabbed me, hugged me and said a short prayer before I walked to my car. Now, I freely admit that my mother is a very religious woman and does even show affection to me, but I have never seen fear in my mother’s eyes. For most my thirty years, my mother has very much subscribed to the school of “pray about it”. 90% of the time I look at her, there’s a Bible nearby and a scripture at some point of a conversation with her so her saying a small prayer before I left today was nothing unusual. But when my mother gives me a hug and says a prayer over me with fear in her eyes because of the current state of the world because she is seriously concerned that something bad could happen to me in the couple of hours I was due to be gone, I can’t help but take notice. My mother was fearful for my well-being because I’m a black woman and we are in the very real situation that I am in constant danger due to living while black. It hurts that my mother who like my father, grew up and have lived in the south their whole lives and have lived during the Civil Rights Movement to being in a position fifty years later being afraid that they and their family are unsafe by virtue of their skin color. I have never been unaware of the position I was born into as a black female. I’ve experienced subtle and even blatant racism over the years, but it never sunk in to actually fear for my safety until I looked into my mother’s eyes this morning. In the year of 2016, I’m a black female in America and the fear is real.

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