Do you remember how old you were when you received "the talk"? You know, the "black in America" one? The one where your parent (or guardian) says, I have to say I love you because I don't know what will happen to you outside of these doors?
I vividly remember my mother having these conversations with my siblings and I ad nauseam while growing up. Hell, I remember her going over "the protocol" of what to do if I got pulled over while driving—keep your hands on the steering wheel and don't cause trouble even if you didn't do anything wrong. I didn't appreciate those conversations then, however, I'm grateful for them now as an adult. That's why I'm able to connect so well with P&G's (Proctor & Gamble) "The Talk" commercial for their "My Black is Beautiful" campaign. Basically, it's a quick synopsis of "the talk" throughout different periods in this country, leading up to today. Interestingly enough, P&G tends to showcase some "liberal" ideals and is doing work in the area of diversity and inclusion in their organization.
The commercial hasn't hit "viral" status yet, but I'm sure in just a few weeks, it'll be the talk of the town. Of course, the actual message of the commercial won't be at the forefront of the discussion. The "debate" (let's be honest, we know that these things are never actually discussed, just argued over—take a look at the Honey Nut Cheerios video from a few years ago) will be one of two things:
1. Why is this being discussed? This is causing a divide in our country!
2. It's anti-police and people will no longer purchase P&G products.
Of course, the video pissed off more than a few wypipo on Facebook:
I don't want to take up anymore space trying to combat the feels of others on an experience that so many of us have encountered at least once in our lives. To be honest, I'm tired of seeing our community constantly explaining or educating wypipo about our lived experiences. #Googleisafriend #Reclaimingmytime!
I reflected on how anxious my mother must have felt when talking to me about the dangers of being a black male (especially one with a mouth) in this country, and how to ensure I'd make it back home at the end of the day. I cannot imagine what was going through her mind then, and I still cannot imagine it now. As I start planning for a family of my own, I start thinking about my future children.The commercial made me think about the conversation that I'm going to have with them when the time comes.
What will the conversation entail for my kids? Will it be the "here's what you do if you get pulled over" talk, or the "always say yes ma'am, yes sir" talk, even if disrespected? Honestly, I don't know what the future will hold for my childrens' black bodies, but I WILL have them prepared to exude their #blackexcellence in whatever space they occupy.
Do you think there'll ever be a time where as a community, we'll never have to have similar conversations with our children?