Poem: Mothers of Black Boys Don’t Exhale — Janet Autherine
Mothers of black boys survive by pushing fear
down so it doesn’t overflow, overwhelm our
senses, paralyze us and derail our ability to
love, nurture and protect our boys. We cling.
One hand on the bible and another holding
on to our sons.
They say that we love boys and raise girls.
Forgive us; we have been anxious since their
birth. We haven’t exhaled because we
remember Emmitt Till and we are in the same
prayer circle as the mothers of Tamir, Elijah,
We embrace the legend of the strong black
woman during the day but cry silent tears at
night. As we push down, there is an uprising of
fibroids, anxiety, depression, high blood
pressure, yet we carry on. We organize and
fight and vote and hold our boys close.
We fight for our sons because we need the
world to heal, so that every mother of black
boys can finally exhale.
Please share this poem with a mother who is struggling. Let us start a conversation that will amplify the voices of women of color, and lead to a greater understanding of our struggles and shared humanity.
If you would like to engage in positive and peaceful discussions, consider joining our group, the Self-care Sisters.