What I'm Telling My Black Children About Their Place in the World

What I'm Telling My Black Children About Their Place in the World

In recent years, a troubling narrative has emerged, painting the black experience solely in hues of suffering and death. As someone who was nurtured in an environment that celebrated black excellence—through family, church, and school—I find this perspective not just shocking but deeply disheartening. It's a narrative I refuse to pass down to my future children. Instead, here's what I'll tell those bright-eyed wonders about their incredible heritage and the boundless future that awaits them.

You Are Black: A Testament to Power and Desirability

Being black is synonymous with being part of a lineage of cultural pioneers, spiritual leaders, and unparalleled artists. Our roots, though severed from African ancestors by the harrowing forces of history, have blossomed into a culture of resilience, innovation, and thriving vitality. Today, you stand on the shoulders of giants, afforded more opportunities than any generation before you.

The Present: A Time of Unprecedented Opportunity

You are entering a world safer, wealthier, and more open to understanding the black experience than ever before. While the shadows of the past linger, they do not define our present. Yes, challenges will arise—such is the nature of life—but with dignity and decent conduct, I've found that life tends to unfold beautifully.

Wisdom for the Journey Ahead

It's crucial to remain vigilant and wise, recognizing that threats come in all forms, regardless of skin color. Emulating the decisions of the past may not yield the future you dream of. My life is a testament to forging a unique path, one that often felt solitary but ultimately led to places of growth, learning, and survival. This path, imbued with the skills and morals I'll teach you, is yours to begin.

The Skills That Forge Futures

The lessons I'll share are universal, yet tailored by our shared heritage. They're tools for navigating life, meant to be shared and celebrated among peers who value growth. Remember, being a Nichols means pioneering your unique journey while honoring the wisdom of those who came before us.

Facing Adversity with Grace

You'll encounter voices that doubt or disparage our race, sometimes from unexpected sources. It's important to stay true to our values, respecting even those who may not extend the same courtesy to us. Our dignity and morals are our strength.

A Legacy of Greatness

At Marcus Garvey Academy, I was surrounded by the achievements of black scientists, artists, and thinkers. This environment instilled in me a sense of boundless potential, not a narrative of struggle. We were taught to focus on our own excellence, discipline, and the greatness within us.

Your Potential Is Limitless

My dear future children, know that your potential is without bounds. The efforts you put forth in this world are yours to shape and define. Choose your path with intention, commit to it, and watch as you create ripples of change.

In sharing these thoughts, I aim not just to prepare my future children for the world but to challenge the narratives that seek to limit them. Our story is one of triumph, creativity, and unyielding strength. It's a story I will proudly tell, ensuring the legacy of greatness continues for generations to come.

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