This month seems to be the month for quite a few pushes for awareness. It’s Autism Awareness month, and I believe everyone should have an understanding of what that is, how it affects sufferers and their families, and how people can help.
It’s also Domestic Abuse and Sexual Abuse Awareness month, and it seems a shame that instead of lessening, occurrences like this are all the more happening when people should be able to walk the streets, without fear of attack, and more so, that they should be able to live in their homes without the fear of the one they love, support and promised to care for them, will lay hands on, violate, rape, maim or kill them, because there is a sense of entitlement that allows them to do so.
When we witness abusers getting away with rape, a slapped wrist over date-rape; it says something that should never be said, and we all know what that is.
But one of the worst abuses that I have seen over the last few months, is the case of black men talking, quite vociferously, about their reasons for not being with a black woman. I like many black women, don’t really care about their reasons are, it’s a personal choice, and I’m not inviting you into my home to tell me how to live, neither am I giving censure about your life. It’s your life.
But, I don’t want to dwell on this, I want to show you something else.
Look at the picture at the top of this page… have you looked? Now, look again. What do you see? Yes, you see a black woman wearing a red top, holding a machete to a policeman’s throat. Now, look down the arm of that policeman, what do you see? Do you see that boy laying on the floor with that gun to his head? Who is pointing that gun? Yes, the policeman who has a knife to his throat, and the woman who is willing to die for that boy. Look at the determination in her face, the willingness to die for that boy. There is also another gun pointed at her, but she doesn’t care, she wants them to know, if you pull that trigger, I will do what I have to do. There is a strength there that I can’t understand, that I don’t even know if I could face, were I in the same situation.
As black women, we have been willing to die for our families, time and time again, and often have put ourselves in harm’s way, risking our lives, losing our dignity, and our children for the sake of that. How many children were removed from black-slave women and sold on, like cattle, never to be seen again. Toni Morrison wrote in Beloved, how ‘the children’s hands would age and she would never know what their adult hands looked like.’
So, for Sexual Abuse Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness, let’s remember that families are supposed to stick together, and protect one another, just like this woman had done for the one she calls family.