Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Go and Hug Your Michael

Go and Hug your “Michael”

by Kimberly Seals Allers

Yesterday I cried watching the Michael Jackson memorial. I cried for a little
black boy who felt the world didn't understand him. I cried for a little black
boy who spent his adulthood chasing his childhood. And I thought about all the
young black boys out there who may too feel that the world doesn't understand
them. The ones who feel that the world does not understand their baggy jeans,
their swagger, their music, their anger, their struggles, their fears or the
chip on their shoulder. I worry that my son, may too, one day will feel lonely
in a wide, wide world.

I cried for the young children of all colors who may live their life feeling
like a misfit, feeling like no one understands their perspective, or their soul.
What a burden to carry.

As a mother, I cried for Katherine Jackson because no mother should ever bury a
child. Period. And I think about all the pain, tears and sleepless nights that
she must have endured seeing her baby boy in inner pain, seeing him struggle
with his self-esteem, and his insecurities and to know he often felt unloved
even while the world loved him deeply. How does it feel to think that the
unconditional love we give as mothers just isn't enough to make our children
feel whole? I wonder if she still suffers thinking, "what more could I have
done?" Even moms of music legends aren't immune to mommy guilt, I suppose.

When Rev. Al Sharpton ("who always delivers one" awesome "funeral speech") said
to Michael's children, "Your daddy was not strange...It was strange what your
Daddy had to deal with," I thought of all the "strange" things of the world that
my children will have to deal with. Better yet, the things I hope they won't
ever have to deal with anymore.

And as a mother raising a young black boy, I feel recommitted and yet a little
confused as to how to make sure my son is sure enough within himself to take on
the world. Especially a "strange" one. To love himself enough to know that even
when the world doesn't understand you, tries to force you into its mold or
treats you unkindly, you are still beautiful, strong and Black. How do I do

Today, I am taking back "childhood" as an inalienable right for every brown
little one. In a world, that makes children into booty-shaking, mini-adults long
before their time, I'm reclaiming the playful, innocent, run-around-outside,
childhood as the key ingredient in raising confident adults. Second, I will not
rest until my little black boy, MY Michael, knows that his broad nose is
beautiful, his chocolately brown skin is beautiful, and his thick hair is

And nothing or no one can ever take that away from him.

"Now aint we bad? And ain't we black? And ain't we fine? ---Maya Angelou


Anonymous said...

Wow! Maya Angelou as always.....kuddos

Kimberly Seals Allers said...

Hi my name is Kimberly Seals Allers and I'm the author of the above post (and The Mocha Manual series of books). Only the very last line is from Maya Angelou, the rest is one of the many blogs I write on my perspectives as a Black mother and founder of, an online magazine for moms of color. Thanks for sharing my work!

Maggie said...

Kimberly Seals thank you so much for sharing this. As a mother myself of two beautiful black girls I am humbly touched by this, nothing is ever painful like burying your own kids, this is a very touching piece of writting, as i have alwys enjoyed Michael Jackson's talent I also feel for his mother for what she had to go through, again Maya Angelou has inspired us with her soultouching messages.
Stay blessed.

Anonymous said...

Oops, Kimbery that was a great work!! Congrats......

Anonymous said...

Hawa wamarekani weusi nao wamezidi, kila kitu wao rangi, Mj mwenyewe alikuwa na kila kitu mafanikio kikazi,kimuziki n.k. sasa hata kuhusu MJ wao wanataka kusingizia rangi nyeusi?jamani.

Na sisi tulioenda shule peku tutasema pia kwa sababu sisi weusi?