Juneteenth, Father's Day, and a 3-year old dead!?!...What happened to #BlackLivesMatter?

Last weekend was wonderful, beautiful even. Absolutely mind-shifting. There was so much rich unknown history shared about Juneteenth within my home. We educated ourselves about the flag, our ancestors who fought for us, the states that recognize the date, and eating watermelon and drinking red soda is tradition. We even sung “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and had it on repeat so our kids could learn the lyrics. Yeah, you heard me...we were shocked too when we found out our kids didn’t learn it from school like we did growing up. But that's okay because my husband and I agreed that from now on, Juneteenth will be a national holiday for The Williams Family from here on out! Juneteenth was LIVE and ALIVE. Out of the 9 years of being in business, this was even the first time my company made Juneteenth shirts. I’d never seen so much yellow, green, and red designs in my life. It was an exciting, liberating, and also chain-breaking moment to celebrate and be thankful for.

Photo Credit: Instagram @hisgarment_inc

It was also Father’s Day weekend. A day that was never really celebrated too often while growing up. Men in my family were far and few between. I remember seeing my aunt give my grandmother a Mahogany Hallmark card on Father’s Day which now looking back on it, I realize was actually pretty sad. But I get it, more often than one would like, you could find a single mother somewhere raising her child/ren alone because of an absentee father. However; a mother could never replace a father even if she raised her children single-handedly, she could never be a father. And if you think about it, creating those cards actually puts undue pressure, responsibility, heaviness, and even more hardship than necessary on single mothers and even our communities. It’s literally impossible trying to be a dual parent for a child when it wasn’t God’s original plan for you to be in the first place. Trust me, being a former single mother myself I know from first hand experience that I could never be a father.

But a shift is happening in the land and last weekend revealed to us the proof. Black fathers everywhere were celebrated and despite how horrible the media portrays them as being drug addicts, jobless, felons, and uneducated; social media timelines were flooded with pictures showing that #BlackDadsMatter. Even the kids and I surprised my husband at the Firehouse and it was a great moment to watch their faces light up seeing daddy at work. Creating moments showing my children that fathers are valuable too, is a must! Honestly, I get really pumped doing so because unlike the lies the media tries to portray about our black men; I truly do not know a deadbeat father. Every man I know in their 20s, 30s, and 40s is a great father and some are even greater husbands! Some of these men didn’t even have fathers themselves while growing up; yet they made a choice to go against the grain choosing to be better than what they had and my husband just happens to be one of them. There’s nothing more amazing than seeing Black fathers being great fathers when they themselves didn’t even have a father while growing up. Makes me wonder if that was a part of God’s plan all along. What plan you ask? Removing the dead weight of an absentee, ungodly, drug addicted, or abusive father just so the next generation of men would be better and wouldn’t become a pattern of what they saw growing up, instead becoming just the opposite.

With so many great wins, I was super excited to write this blog. However, as soon as Monday came, I received a call from my mother notifying me that her co-worker and friend’s young son was shot and killed while sitting with his cousin on the porch. As I searched on the internet for more information, I’d found that more than 14 people were shot and killed during this historical celebratory weekend for Blacks and Fathers. One week I’m writing about injustice towards my black people and now I’m writing about finding justice for my black people. Little girl, age 14, a teenager just like my oldest, was shot right in her bedroom while watching TV. She was at home, in her bedroom...watching TV.

What happened to Stay Home, Save Lives, Juneteenth, Black Lives Matter? What happened?