Open letter to the black youth who cocked the gun in my son's face


Open letter to the black youth who cocked the gun in my son's face yet allowed him to live... (I am following my heart here. Bare with me...)

It has taken me forever to draft this letter to you. I have thought of it many, many times but have never begun it. Somehow in the chaos of recent events, I simply felt that I could not wait any longer.

On that October day not too long ago, I had just wired my womb-child/first-born/eldest-son, $50. It was the last bit of what I had. I wired it to him because he wanted to attend the funeral of his childhood friend who had been brutally murdered, execution style in an ally on a Sunday afternoon while pleading for his life.

He and my womb-child had grown up together and my son shocked and broken-hearted was desperate to make the pilgrimage to pay his respects at his memorial. The two of them had big plans upon growing up, plans that my womb-child would have to fulfill alone because his friend’s life was cut short at the tender age of 21.

On that same day in October, my womb-child was walking through an apartment complex again in the afternoon in broad daylight. You accosted him, demanded his money, pointed a gun in his face and cocked it. Cocked a gun in his face, in his face, yet allowed him by some miracle to live.

You walked away with his money, the money I had just wired him to attend a memorial of a fellow black youth, one of our family. You walked away with his money and left him with his life, left me with my son, my first-born/womb-man-child.

I don’t know why you did it, but this letter is to humbly thank you for not pulling the trigger that day. This letter is also to let you know that I have thought of you often, prayed for you and your welfare, flung love into the ethers simply on your behalf.

I also want to remind you that on that day you failed to add to the mounting statistics of black on black crime, black male incarceration, unsolved murders, etc. Although taking his money, you chose that day to spare a young black man’s life, a mother’s son, a brother/sister’s sibling, a namesake, a future filled with positive possibility and promise.

Why do I write you? Because I am a mother-woman and you are a son and that is what we as mother-women do because we know that if we lose our wherewithal amidst this madness the planet will literally explode from its core and vomit us all into oblivion.

I envision that moment that day in October as a turning point in your life where you will continue to break through stereotypes, profiling, prejudice, pain and anything else that seeks to bind you, break you and make you forget the brilliant being from the Divine that you truly are. If that moment was not the turning point for you, then I launch this letter into the cyber ethers, pray it lands on you, anoints you, baptizes and blesses you anyway.

Again, son, I thank you, and I bless you.
Pay it forward…



Tamara July 29, 2013 @04:03 pm
Thank you, Guenevere, for sharing this. It is so helpful to know that we do not endure this alone. What a beautiful ritual you and your sons have. Keep up the good work, Mama!
Guenevere Reed July 29, 2013 @02:51 pm
What a epiphany...I had a kinetic Motherly Your Mind, Body, Spirited Moment. You expressed everytjing I have felt in my Heart. When my sons inform me about going out of the safe haven of our humble abode, our refuge, our Zion. The Lioness in me bristles & heightens with apprehension. Time to go in to a prayerful mode. I anoint them with my warnings of being prepare for the carnal, worldly, sinful temptations. We practice our mantra of what would you dos. We do a Madonna & manchild sound off of call & response Haiku. On hiw go deal with the Popo,Dodoes Hoes, Hobos. They assure me with verbal acquience & imprinted obedience..So with a kiss to each cheeks we say our goodbyes, I love you & see you later. Praying this is not the last later Mom.
Tamara July 27, 2013 @12:01 pm
Lorraine, thank you for responding and for seeing beyond... while holding the love, forgiveness and hope along with me. Blessings to you!
Lorraine Currelley July 27, 2013 @09:07 am
I am moved beyond words by the humanity, the love expressed in this sacred letter. This letter will undoubtingly act as a catalyst for change among us all. Mama Tam, each word , each phrase reached me with thoughts of love forgiveness and understanding. I am left to explore, to look beyond the crime and see the young man commiting the crime. The desperation, the disrespect, the lack of value for another life and the lack. The pain, the suffering and the decision he made not to shoot. It is in this action I see hope. I love your words and will share them with others. Thank you.
Jon Goode July 19, 2013 @02:47 pm
What a beautifully written and poignant letter Tamara. What a spirit of forgiveness you have. Well done.
Sonia Roman (Aminah Love) July 19, 2013 @02:33 pm
I AM FILLED FROM WITHIN. I am a Woman/Mother of a son.... I felt every word of this write sis. Didn't know... Your son is such a precious being, a child that has been filled with your unconditional love. You are an amazing individual to forgive and bless this being... God has bestowed grace & mercy to your family.. Wow sis.. truly impacted me. Love you... Thanks for the share.
  • Leave a comment: