As the world mourns the loss of yet another black life to police violence, and we stand up for all of the black women and men who have died in this way before George Floyd, Atlanta’s Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, shares her story — a story unique to black women.
Having overcome decades of systemic racism to become mayor of one of America’s largest cities, Lance Bottoms reminds us all that even in that position, she cannot protect her son from the threat he faces when he leaves their home.
Her words, “Baby, please come home — now! It’s not safe for black boys to be out today,” shared in her powerful and heartbreaking New York Times essay this week, are a near perfect illustration of the challenges racism brings into the lives of black women, no matter how far we come. Bottoms wrote:
” ‘I frantically screamed into the phone to my teenage son: “Lance, WHERE ARE YOU?!’ Social media posts were swirling that protests were being planned in Atlanta in response to the death of George Floyd, a black Minnesotan, while a police officer knelt on his neck.
Although as mayor, the chief of police reports to me, in that moment, I knew what every other parent to a black child in America knows: I could not protect my son. To anyone who saw him, he was simply who he is, a black man-child in the promised land that we all know as America”