A Message From a Black Mother

I am a Black mother of two Black children. My husband and I are gainfully employed, myself at a reputable university and he at one of the largest technology companies in the world. According to the New York Times, I live in an upper-middle class community in San Francisco. We give our children private piano lessons, ballet classes, chess classes, swim and ski lessons. We are not only checking all those boxes that mainstream American society says we need to check, we are downright crushing them. But, it doesn’t matter how much education we’ve acquired or what titles we hold or where we live. My son could be asphyxiated without cause by a police’s knee in his neck. My daughter could be shot by police in her own home. My son could be murdered while out taking a jog or walking home from a convenience store. My daughter could die in police custody after a routine traffic stop. It is a terrifying and infuriating time in America, and if you are not a part of the solution, you are probably a part of the problem.

Of course, you’ve never committed an act of violence against Black bodies because you read math blogs. You would never call the police on a Black man unjustly like those other people because you have Black friends. But when have you opened a door for a Black colleague or gone out of your way to encourage a Black student? When have you spoken out against racist systems that are in place in math departments in every corner of America? What are you doing to diversify the faculty in your department? These things make a difference to this Black mother and each and every parent of Black children. I’m not saying anything you haven’t heard before. You’re in the know. You’ve attended diversity trainings and microaggression workshops and you care. Really, bravo. But it has never been more apparent in our lifetime that there needs to be a tectonic shift in our thinking but more importantly our doing. 

And by our, I mean your. 

My children’s lives may depend upon it.



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