By this time, the country is well aware of the shooting that took place just a few miles from where I live in Hoover, AL.
So many have so much to say. I’m normally pretty quiet in these situations. I’m quiet because I don’t see the point in adding to the rush of opinions and misinformation on people’s social media timelines.
I had spoken to my husband a few times after the event about what happened. But, sitting in my car in Downtown Birmingham, I felt the need to text him and tell him that he needs to know that I can’t live without him.
My fear of losing my husband is real. I used to only get nervous when he went to the shadier parts of town for late night performances.
Now I worry about him walking into a convenience store, wearing his hoodies, being in a Walmart, and practically anywhere.
He doesn’t have an aggressive appearance. He doesn’t carry a gun. He doesn’t look like a threat… to me.
But, the more that happens in this country, the more I realize, he doesn’t have to look a particular way or be in a particular place. It only matters that others fear him because of his race.
Sunday, I was having a Friendsgiving worship service with a newly planted church in the city. The church is, now, predominantly white. They desire, strongly, a diverse congregation. They seek out ways to learn about privilege and understand the pains black people have endured. Not only do they want to understand, but they also want to do something.
I admire that.
One of the songs we sang was “We Shall Overcome.” Until Sunday, that song was just what we did in church growing up on the Sundays of Black History Month.
But, Sunday, after the shooting, it felt different. There I was standing in a room of white people who could never understand.
I was singing a song of my ancestors encouraging themselves to press on as they wait for better days. Yet, more than 100 years later, I’m still holding on for those days.
A lot has changed since it was written. But, I have to daily manage the fear of losing my husband at the hands of anyone who holds hate, fear, or misunderstanding in their hearts.
That thought supplied the water welling in my eyes. The fact that I have a 2-year son who will grow up to be a black man in America pushed the tears over the edge and streaming down my face.
Like my ancestors wanted for me, I want better for him. They said, “deep in my heart, I do believe.” I’m having a hard time with that line right now.
Luckily, I no longer let fear paralyze me.
But, the “someday” that we shall overcome can’t come soon enough.