“Black father, I saw you yesterday.
You were walking down the street pushing a stroller with a tiny pink princess backpack hanging off your shoulder.
Your daughter was giggling hysterically as you made silly sounds to keep her entertained.
Black father, I saw you a few weeks back at the doctor’s office waiting anxiously for them to call your newborn son’s name. You cradled him while you spoke so gently about what was going to happen.
Black father, I saw you holding a college textbook in your hand while your little boy grasped the finger on the other side.
Several years ago, I saw you in a courtroom fighting for custody of kids that weren’t biologically yours because their mother could no longer care for them, and you couldn’t bear the thought of them being separated from their siblings.
Black father, I saw you verbally tap dance when the police pulled you over. Carefully annunciating every syllable and narrating your movements.
I was pulled over to make sure the interaction ended with you alive. We locked eyes. You waved to me as you drove away.
Black father, last week you led prayer over your family before loading up the car to embark on a road trip.
Black father, I saw you last summer running football drills with the neighborhood kids in hopes to keep them off the street.
I see you fight systems that were not meant to be won all in the name of survival, but your audacity and tenacity don’t end there. You walk through a world where you’re stereotyped to death, but you still rise.
Not too long ago, I saw you don your military uniform. You just had your new set of stripes sewn on, but the uniform must come off sometime.
Black father, I saw you today when that security guard called you ‘boy.’ Your crown did not fall. It’s not tarnished. Your ancestors’ tears, fears, hopes, and dreams polish it for you.
Black father, your love is as endless as your potential. You are the game-changer for your generation. The way maker for generations to come.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jacalyn Wetzel of Stop Yelling Please, and originally appeared here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
Read more from Jacalyn:
‘My oldest son has said, ‘The school officer treats the black kids meaner. It gives me anxiety.’ I’d never tell you that at the ripe age of 14, my son ‘fits the description.’: Mom says ‘my mama heart breaks for reasons you’ll never fully grasp’
‘I don’t really like black people, but you’re different.’ I shrank inside myself. I couldn’t change my skin, but I could lose every identifiable piece of who I was to blend in.’: Woman recalls experiences with racism, ‘I’m no longer a scared little girl’
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