Commentary: A letter to my beautiful, black unborn baby

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To my unborn son, daughter or however you choose to identify,

I remember when your dad and I found out that you would be the newest addition to our little family. It was the beginning of a global pandemic, and we had hunkered down in our two-bedroom apartment for the long haul. There was so much uncertainty ahead of us, but you brought us so much stability and happiness.

As weeks continued to pass us by and uncertainty continued to grow, we kept our heads down, continued to work remotely and embraced all of the changes that were upon us because of you.

Then our world was turned upside in what seemed like days, but was really over the course of a few short months.

First, we learned of the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and finally George Floyd. All black, all unarmed, all of them could have been you.

While this isn’t the first time we have watched innocent black men and women murdered, and while it will not be the last, this time it unearthed something inside of me that I have never felt before: a mother’s instinct of fear and rage.

I’m now in the beginning stages of my second trimester. During this time of pregnancy is when you’re beginning to move your arms and legs, you have all of your fingers and toes, your facial features are becoming more defined and my stomach is starting to become more noticeable. Your dad and I should be thinking about who you will look like more, when will we feel you kick for the first time, whether you are a boy or a girl.

But your gender doesn’t matter, because either way, the only thing we can talk about is how we can protect you. When will be the first time we have to have a conversation about what not to do when you go outside? Do not keep your hands in your pockets, do not wear a hood, if you are stopped by the police keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times, if you are ever detained (no matter what the reason) immediately ask for an attorney, never let yourself be alone in a room with law enforcement if you can avoid it, and so on.

Why will too many people in this country see you as a threat solely based on the color of your skin?

It’s too dangerous to not have these conversations because you or any black child could easily be another George, another Breonna, another Ahmaud, or any of the other hundreds of black men and women killed by law enforcement or white civilians.

For those of us who want children, I think we all have an idea about what kind of parent we hope to be, but we can never be certain. I always want to be honest with you and be open about my feelings.

So let’s start here: I’m scared. I’m terrified for you already, and you’re not even here yet. I already want to shelter you away from the harsh realities of the world we live in. I want to protect you from the hate and evil that spews from the mouths of those that hide behind a dictator who warrants violence — daily — against me, your father, and now, you. And yet, I know, I won’t be able to do that forever.

While the fire is still burning inside of me, it is also met with feelings of excitement and joy. Despite the feeling of terror, I choose to tell you every day that you are worthy and wonderful. I am overcome with gratitude as I watch my body change, because that means you are growing and that we are one day closer to meeting you.

I know that I won’t be able to keep you under my wing forever, but what I can and will continue to do for your entire life is tell you that you are black, you are beautiful, you are strong, you are powerful. No matter what you hear or see, I want you to be proud of who you are, know that your skin will radiate to all those around you and know that you can do anything.

If you ever forget that or anyone makes you feel anything less-than, your mom and dad will be there to remind you that your life matters and all black lives matter. Our backs will be holding you up. Forever.

Love always,

Your mom



Ebony Chisholm is the managing director of External Affairs with Educators for Excellence — Connecticut, an expectant mother and a Middletown, Conn., resident.


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