"Let's Go Before Somebody Shoots Me" – Hard Words For the White Mom of a Black Son

Wogauyu marimba

He grabbed my arm, saying, “Let’s go before somebody shoots me.”

Wogauyu had just finished playing the marimba in a fun concert at the farmers market and I suggested we wander up main street before heading home.

I looked at him in surprise. “What do you mean?” I asked.

“Mom, they shoot people like me,” he said, as he rubbed one finger on the back of his other hand, “and I think that black lives matter.”

I tried to reassure my nine year-old, “Honey, nobody is going to shoot you. You are safe right here,” but even as I said it, I felt deep sadness knowing that I cannot shield him from the shift that is coming as he grows from a cute black boy to a not-as-cute black teenager.