Their names are Amber, Robin, Azya, and Jordan. They are my daughters and granddaughters. I, like millions of other Black fathers and grandfathers, am fiercely protective and proud of each one of them.
Breonna Taylor was the pride and joy of her family also. At 26 years old, she was already a decorated Emergency Medical Technician who enjoyed serving her fellow man. With an optimistic and ebullient personality, she was looking forward to a bright future. According to a close friend, Breonna was engaged to be married and expected 2020 to be her best year.
But Breonna never had the chance to fulfill her dreams. The loss of this young woman’s life has caused my hope for my daughters and granddaughters to be shaded by my worry for their safety. This worry is exacerbated by the repeated loss of Black lives, which now includes a growing number of Black women.
Amber, Robin, Azya, and Jordan continue to aspire to their hopes and dreams to do important and meaningful things in life, just as Breonna Taylor did. Each enjoys sharing her freedom dreams with family, friends, and others, just as Breonna did.
Most importantly, they are the kind of young women that are ready to lend an ear or to offer a kind word or compassionate support to those in need, just as Breonna was.
Amber and Robin have careers in social service and education respectively and are dedicated to the uplifting of others who have been marginalized and undervalued. Azya is a young social worker who ministers to the social, emotional, and economic sufferings of her clients. She is also working toward a master’s degree. Jordan is a stellar high school scholar destined for success.
Why must Black parents and grandparents have to shoulder the burden of worry for the safety of their daughters and sons? As a father and grandfather, I have had to give my sons and grandsons the proverbial “talk.” Now, I am beginning to feel compelled to do likewise for my daughters and granddaughters.
I am sure that this omnipresent feeling of worry is something that my White counterparts do not have to experience. I ask, how does it feel not to worry about losing a child or grandchild to death by police gunfire? What does it feel like to not have to give your children or grandchildren the “talk”?
Our children and grandchildren have died driving while Black, walking while Black, shopping while Black, and, with the death of Breonna, sleeping while Black. In America, “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” why must this constant worry about our children’s survival be borne by Black people?
I have no doubt Amber, Robin, Azya, and Jordan will achieve their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. And I, as their father and grandfather, will do all that I can to see that their future is safe and secure. Breonna Taylor’s life mattered! Black Lives Matter.