As I settle down in bed every night, I gather my thoughts around what has happened during the day and begin to mentally prepare for the next. During this process I begin to silently pray. Recently, I’ve added a couple of items to the already lengthy prayer list. In addition to just praying for my 13-year old stepson and his protection while crossing the street or from bullying in school, I’ve had to add, please protect him from a random act of violence that might occur because he’s a young black boy.

The TRUTH IS, I haven’t spoken to him about this additional prayer request.  I’m not even sure if he knows I pray for him at all, but I think it’s important that he knows why I’ve added this item to my list. This letter is for him and all the young black boys across America.

You come into this world, bouncing balls of joy and we dream about all the wonderful things you’ll go on to do with your lives. The TRUTH IS, we’re scared to death about what the possibility of having you finally here in our lives really means. Pushing all those fears aside, we hold, comfort and love you, while raising you, knowing that life wouldn’t be the same without you.

We have to trust you and God that everything we’ve tried to teach you sticks with you. We always tell you how well we want you to do in school, be your own person and of course stay away from trouble. TRUTH IS, in the world we live in today it’s so hard to let you go, but we know we have to.

It’s quite hard knowing we can’t protect you from everything and everyone. You’ve heard about Trayvon Martin and what happened to him and his family.  TRUTH IS, as much as the case was talked about we don’t talk about injustices like this enough. There are those who are prejudiced and intolerant of young black males. They feel threatened by them, and they will choose to take your young life in the blink of an eye.

The notion seems ridiculous but TRUTH IS, it’s a reality. This didn’t just happen to Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. This is happening to families across the United States. Young black boys like Ricardo Sanes and Donald Maiden Jr are not names that made national news.

What I want you to understand is that TRUTH IS, unfortunately you are not exempt from what happened to Martin and Davis, and our family isn’t exempt from the pain their family is feeling. We are still fighting and praying for justice in these cases involving your peers. TRUTH IS, we are living in scary times.

We don’t want you to live your life in fear of what could happen, but we do want you to recognize this reality. Be aware of this reality, educate yourself, your friends and your peers about this reality and most importantly pray about this reality. 

The TRUTH IS, we are scared for you.