Coming of Age in the Time of the Hoodie by Sarah Ladipo Manyika

“In December, around the time of the grand jury decision not to indict the white officer in the choking death of Eric Garner, I remember talking to fellow black mothers about the ease with which others seemed able to go about the business of the holidays, without giving much thought to the pain and fear that gripped us. One friend of a friend, so afraid of what might happen to her teenage sons after a string of burglaries caused her neighbors to start warning against “anyone who looks out of place,” decided to send photographs to all the neighbors so they would take note and really see her boys: so that they would know what her boys looked like: so that one day, should they be tempted to call the police on perceiving the threat of another “black male,” they would instead see her sons for who they were—young men with names. I feel shocked when white friends are surprised to hear that one of my greatest fears for our son is that he will be stabbed or shot to death. Why, given all the statistics for young black males in America, do people continue to be surprised?”

Read the entirety of this powerful essay here:

 

Coming of Age in the Time of the Hoodie by Sarah Ladipo Manyika