Brainy Quote of the Day

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Talk...

Topics: African Americans, History, Diaspora, Diversity in Science, Women in Science

Call it a Black History Month Twofer. Tomorrow will be a twofer with a slight twist for the month and physics. You'll see what I mean.

The talk is painful to do and painful still to recall. My talk was based on being slammed into a wall of plastic model cars and toys at King's Department Store (see: "Old Tapes" below).

My boys... didn't take the story well. Though ten years apart, their reactions were the same: they were angry, hurt, confused as to why such a thing could happen to their "Pop." Watching this again, in the modern context brought back painful memories:

Despite there and my tears, I had to deliver "the talk," the speech that transcends political party affiliations that every black parent has to relay to their children: fathers to sons; mothers to daughters; uncles and aunts to nieces and nephews; "Big Mommas," and Paw-Paws to grand and great-grandchildren.

The Preamble to the US Constitution:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Posterity (noun): 1: the offspring of one progenitor to the furthest generation, 2: all future generations. Merriam-Webster

That's what "the talk" is about. It's probably the purist act of citizenship since 1865, as well as love. It says our children matter to "us"; that like most parents of any generation, we'd like to see them grow, mature and have a life of meaning and children themselves if they want. It does not sound like the realm, attitude or philosophy of thugs: it sounds like the realm of citizens. If indeed "all lives mattered," it would not be necessary.

This is the darker history of American exceptionalism. A segment of citizenry - be they democrats or republicans - must give a safety brief to their children for walking out the door into the dominant society to ensure their safe return. Because apparently, that's not guaranteed due to a preponderance of Melanin and an equal preponderance of the assumption guilty-while-black.

When the talk becomes a thing we discuss in history books, we'll be a free nation; we'll be America, the Beautiful, definitively.

I will consider my life a blessing to have my sons live full lives, and be allowed to do what I had to do with their Grandpa after August 26, 1999 (and their Grandma Mildred Dean Goodwin after May 7, 2009):

To Robert Harrison Goodwin (Pop/Grandpa), United States Navy Veteran, World War II -my first martial arts instructor (boxing). I hope you like what your daughter-in-law and I have done with your grandsons (Real Estate/Civil Engineering). They are, after all, your posterity. I love you and mom always, "Chief."

Robert H. Goodwin is kneeling, lower left.

Griot Poet blog: "Old Tapes"

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