Originally written on 7/1/2016

I prayed for you. I laid awake at night thinking of you. You’re beautiful. I want you to understand.

I prayed that the Lord would bless me with you and that I would be an example of a strong woman for you.

You, my beautiful son, will be gifted with a sense of strength and pride that is a result of being young, gifted, and Black.
You will have endless possibilities, coupled with many obstacles. It would be irresponsible of me to try and hide you from the realities of the world. I believe in you. Not everyone will. I see your strength as resiliency, others will take it as arrogance. I look at your rich, deep, brown skin and see a King, others will see a threat.
It’s an act of courage to be bold and proud… You naturally embody those traits. People will be threatened by you– your strength, your voice, your resilience, your very essence of being a strong, Black child of God. History has shown us how America preys on those it feels threatened by. You, in all of your excellence, my Prince, are intimidating.
There will be traps. There will be setups. There will be pressure to keep you from elevating because they know you are unstoppable. Think of those who are the best at what they do… at the top of their games. More likely than not, they look like you. The road will never be easy, but I believe in you.
Keep your eyes open, become who you wish to be– not who they want you to be or tell you you can be. Choose your paths carefully. There will be deterrents. They will come in the form of your own self-doubt, friends, society, media. Know that your worth is an intrinsic gift, a God-given gift. Your worth is not determined by societal standards, pressures, or preconceived notions of who you are and who you can become. For you, my dear child, have been molded by the loving hands of God.
You have a gift that runs through your veins. It flows from of your pores, it bleeds from your wounds, it escapes from your lips. Understand when you are faced with threats or uncertainty, your foundation is strong. You are immovable. You are powerful.
You are beautiful and Black. That can never be taken away from You. Wear your identity proudly, as your skin introduces yourself before you even speak.
Your strength defies logic. Not everyone will understand you. You are not meant to be understood, you are meant to be marveled at. No one can emulate your power or the power of the many great Black men and women who came before you.
The system is unjust and unfair. Fight back with an education, with a voice in the community, with due diligence of where you spend your money. Fight back with knowledge and awareness of your rights. I wish I could say doing these things will always place you on the right side of every encounter and situation, but I would be lying if I told you the world is perfect and just. I cannot shield you from the unpleasantries of life.

I know that sometimes, in spite of all of this, it will never be enough, but know that you always will be.

You can and oftentimes will be right yet still be wronged. . . Love and be proud in spite of this.

~Noèl

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