{Open Letter} 6 Things I Want my Little Brown Children to Know

My heart has been heavy over the last several days. I’ve started and stopped writing about this McKinney incident several times. I didn’t even publish my Monday Motivational post because I wasn’t feeling very motivational. What can I say that hasn’t been said? How can I explain this to my babies? What if this happened to my babies? How can I protect them? While I don’t know all the answers, I do know that I can give them as much guidance as I possibly can. While I know not everyone feels one way or another, I just want them to know how to interact with the “bad apples” should they ever need to. So I decided to just write a letter to my little brown children…

My dearest children,

First and foremost, I love you more than words can say. I’m writing this letter because there are some things that I need you to know. I need you to know that although we’ve come a long way, we have an even longer way to go in this United States of America. Here are just a few things that I want you to always keep in mind as you get older, because I have a feeling that things may not be too different in a few years, than they are right now.

1. People can be mean

I know we teach you that you should always treat people the way you want to be treated. But unfortunately, not everyone lives by this rule. In fact, you will come across a lot of downright mean and nasty people. They may call you names, curse at you or treat you like you are worthless. But don’t let this break your beautiful spirit, or cause you to treat them the way they’re treating you. Teach people how to treat you by holding your head up high, and not engaging in their shenanigans (obviously, you are being taught how to defend yourself through Taekwondo…so if you need to defend yourself, please do).

2. Embrace who you are

Don’t ever be ashamed of where you come from. God made us who we are for a reason. You are black, and regardless of how ugly people may treat you or portray you, you are beautiful and handsome. Point. Blank. Period.

3. Racism is still real

I’m hoping that it gets better, I really am. But racism is still alive and well. Instead of getting better, it’s continuing to get worse. I know you’ve learned about Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman..and once upon a time when there were slaves. Yes, we live in different times now, but the times are really not all that different. Don’t try to understand it because it will never make sense. Just know that it exists regardless of how people try to explain their way out of it.

4. You are not equal (in their eyes)

It doesn’t matter how many white friends you may have, or what nice cars we drive, or fabulous neighborhoods we live in. You will never be seen as equal to your white counterparts. No, you can’t do what they do and get away with it. If you act up or talk back, you’ll be seen as a rowdy thug. But don’t be surprised when they do it and are told they just need an outlet or some medication. No, you will never be equal (in their eyes).

5. You always have a choice

We hope that you will always choose common sense over ignorance and peace over violence. We hope that you will always choose to walk away from any situation that looks like it’s heading for danger. While we hope and pray that you never be faced with a situation like what happened at McKinney, we hope you will choose to give authorities as little reason as possible to want to harm you. Choose to listen and do what they say even if you don’t agree (as long as it doesn’t cause harm to you or anyone else).

6. Prayer is your power

Above all else, remember that your faith is your biggest asset. No one can ever take away your prayers. When you find yourself in fear, doubt, overwhelm, anger…take it to God and pray. But then always back your prayer up with action because faith without works is dead. If you pray for peace, you need to demonstrate peace. If you pray for courage, don’t allow fear to cripple you. If you pray for justice, do your part to be part of the solution.

I hope and pray that as you get older, the world will get better. But if it doesn’t, I hope you’ll always know the power of your greatness. I pray that these few words and the words I share with you throughout your life will always empower and encourage you. The color of your skin does not define you, but your character does. Always remember that.

Love and blessings,

Momma

What other things would you add to this letter? How are you talking to your kids about racism?

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    PATRICE M Foster
    June 10, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    What a great article especially like these numbers #1,#3,#4……It’s a struggle for us all. Important that you continue to teach your kids coping skills and make them aware of the struggle we continue to face. I commend you for that. Hoping for changes but like you say looks bleak at times
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    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      June 11, 2015 at 8:00 AM

      Thank you Patrice. I agree, it’s not the type of conversation I even imagined having to have with my kids, but it’s necessary.

  • Reply
    Kiwi
    June 10, 2015 at 11:44 PM

    What a heartfelt letter…breaks my heart a little. I saw the video and I wont lie it makes me a little angry because I just do not understand how these police officers can hurt kids and not think twice. Praying for all of these sad situations to end soon and possibly a law to be passed…its so inhumane.
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    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      June 11, 2015 at 8:01 AM

      Thank you Kiwi. I was in tears watching that video. We all know “all lives matter” but what’s not apparent in this day and age is that “black lives matter”. New laws are definitely needed.

  • Reply
    Holly
    June 11, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    This is great for kids to know and adults. Prayer is definitely powerful.
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  • Reply
    Carin Kilby Clark
    June 11, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    YES TO ALL! It’s a shame that this continues to be an issue for our society. But it’s important to equip our children so they will know how to respond in this type of situation.
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    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      June 12, 2015 at 12:43 AM

      *sigh* I agree Carin! That’s really all we can do right now 🙁

  • Reply
    Kerri Estella
    June 11, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    This hurts. Hopefully by the time I have children I won’t have to tell them any of these things. But….until then, teaching them will hopefully reach them.
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  • Reply
    Michellette "MimiCuteLips" Green
    June 11, 2015 at 3:52 PM

    You better preach it! It seems like it is open season on our beautiful brown kids. While everyone isn’t perfect they don’t deserve to die. Every time I heard another story its hard to maintain a positive outlook. Its hard to act like everything is okay. THIS IS NOT OKAY! Its hard to look at my little brown boy and girl and promise that it won’t happen to them.

    We have to continue to pray for our kids and teach them as much as we can.
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  • Reply
    Tanay
    June 11, 2015 at 5:07 PM

    While I love this it breaks my heart. I dread the day I have to explain these things to my baby.
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  • Reply
    Stacie
    June 11, 2015 at 5:09 PM

    I think it’s great that you are informing your children about the world we live in. Though they may have to deal with these struggles, it’s encouraging to know that prayer overcomes all!
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  • Reply
    Vashti (veepeejay.com)
    June 11, 2015 at 6:03 PM

    McKinney is just a few minutes away from me so it has definitely been a difficult week. Sometimes you just don’t know how to articulate how you feel. This was such a heartfelt letter and it’s unfortunate that it is has to be written, but making your kids aware of the world in which they live is definitely important.
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  • Reply
    Lashonda
    June 11, 2015 at 7:20 PM

    You better tell the truth and shame the devil!! This letter is spot on. I’m going to share with my friends.
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  • Reply
    Tia
    June 11, 2015 at 11:01 PM

    Real and honest, I think these are great things to share with all of our little brown children.
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    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      June 23, 2015 at 8:58 PM

      Thanks so much Tia! It’s unfortunate that we have to…

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  • Reply
    FIDELIA
    November 9, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    Christine this letter isn’t just for our children but also for parents, as we try to make sense of all of this. All I could do when the final results were revealed is apologize to my boys and reassure them that no matter who this country’s leader is they are first and foremost led by God. As you said “Prayer is power” and we have to place our trust in the Almighty. Thank you for these words my wise little sis!

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      February 26, 2017 at 11:32 PM

      I don’t know how I missed this sis. But Amen to all of that! It’s heartbreaking to know this is the world we live in. But we have to continue to do our parts as parents and pray every day for and over our children.

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