For now, my child is a child. He’s mostly unaware of the violence against his own people. I remember him asking why I was meeting with faith leaders and the police department (he had a tinge of fear in his voice) and I told him it was to make sure they were on their best behavior.

As his mother it’s my job to protect him from experiencing trauma due to racism as best as I can. It’s my job to assess what his curious beautiful mind can handle (and because I know he has a propensity to worry about me).

Wanting affirmation/ acceptance/a head nod from Black people is a normal part of a growing conscience. You want the approval of the person who your people have done harm to because you believe in some way it absolves you of your deep sense of white guilt. Also, white people tend to use Black people as their moral compass because theirs is so skewed. Proximity to Black women specifically makes anyone look moral. Think about how Black women are used to validate political candidates as not racist (It’s like saying, “But I have a Black friend I can’t be racist”). …

How Anti- Blackness Robs Black People of Black Joy

Ya’ll know Black people are some of the funniest human beings on the planet. I remember it was new years eve and we poured the kids some apple cider in some cups to make a toast. Midnight hits and we all yell Happy New Year! My five year old leans over to my good friend David and says, “But where’s the toast?” Of course we all fell out laughing.

Black boy in a suit vest, tie, and button up shirt five years old, arms crossed, smiling at camera.
Black boy in a suit vest, tie, and button up shirt five years old, arms crossed, smiling at camera.

We have learned to use joy and laughter to combat our grief. Because of this, we are experts at humor. Our humor…

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend. — Theophrastus

So there I was a new mom to a bouncing baby boy. Literally he bounced his little self everywhere! Up the walls, down the hall, in cabinets and on top of tables. And although I posted cute photos of him laughing and singing online, the truth is that he was a hostile dictator with no teeth and poor English. I also learned later that he was an extremely intelligent baby and I was boring him most of the time. Not his fault at all.

So there I was…

Elika Bernard

Elika Bernard is a communications expert, skilled orator, and prolific writer with an extensive history in the visual and performing arts.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store