Today I read the news about a Black mom facing charges of second-degree assault and strangulation after authorities say she beat her daughter’s middle school teacher to the point of unconsciousness. At first when I saw this headline, I chuckled, only out of the fact that it took place on Long Island and I know the school district. But upon informing myself more, I’m really sad to see another story of our system set up to keep Black women held behind. While major news outlets lead the story with headlines of the Black mom as the aggressor, what they make sure to leave out until the middle of the story is that this mom was reacting to the claim that the teacher “put her hands” on her child.
So I want to break this down.
I’m not saying the mom in this story is right for hitting the teacher (though I’m not exactly saying she is completely wrong either), the main problem here for me is that this teacher put her hands on this child. For those who didn’t grow up with a Black woman in their household—to “put their hands on my child” is a statement we know to mean serious business. Continue reading
I want to share some of my story of where I come from. As I continue on the path to liberate myself from external factors and stand completely in my truth, I think it’s important for me to be willing to reflect on how my past has shaped the way I view and think of our world today.
I grew up on Long Island, a little island that’s home to the start of suburban America. It sits in the shadow of the biggest (and greatest) city in the country, New York, and yet, living there is nothing like living in the city. Almost everything about me can be traced back to my childhood on Long Island—and I love it!—but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t see it for what it is through adult eyes. Unfortunately, this makes me sadder than I would like.
Though Long Island is known as the suburbs, it’s home to more people than some states in America has alone! Comprised up by two counties, Nassau and Suffolk, LI is home to some 2.8 million people throughout 195 hamlets, 96 villages, and 2 cities—all of which have their own unique identities. As a child growing up in a mostly single mother household, I was afforded the opportunity of living and going to three different school districts there. I’m grateful for the moving around we had to do now because I consider these experiences to be some of the first that allowed me to see the world with larger eyes than people expected.
My story begins in the 6th grade.