The headlines that scream for justice in the murder of Florida teen Trayvon Martin can only capture a fraction of the pain that his mother feels.
There are no words that can adequately convey the pain of having a child ripped from the world due to senseless violence. Technology captured Trayvon’s last pleas for help to a 911 operator and his voice now transcends the phone lines and lives on the Internet forever, permanently documented in a time capsule of cold blooded murder.
Can we realistically expect Trayvon Martin’s mother to ever find closure in this scenario? Can we realistically expect any black mother to heal after the violent loss of a child? The truth is that this particular tragedy is nothing new. Gun violence invades the lives of black mothers everywhere, from the gritty streets of Chicago to the gleaming streets of “Celebrityville.” Just look at the short list of several of the most sensational and tragic deaths in relatively recent memory.
- On July 18, 2000, singer Monica and her boyfriend were visiting his brother’s gravesite when inexplicably, he pulled a gun and shot himself in the head in front of her. Monica was depressed for months.
- On October 24, 2008, Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew were senselessly slain.
- Faith Evans had to explain to her son why his father, Biggie Smalls, was gone.
- Afeni Shakur had to find explanation about the death of her child, Tupac.
- Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell) was fatally shot in a New York studio. He is survived by his wife, three sons, mother, brother and sister.
The presence of guns in the lives of women and the lives of black mothers leads to a long and tragic trail of tears similar to that Africans, Americans and Indians all suffered together through the forced migration.Celebrated black women have had to deal with the murderous aftershocks just like those who are suffering with the death of Trayvon Martin. In a tragic irony, Trayvon Martin has become famous because of his death, and because of racial profiling. In this scenario, death, fame, black motherhood and grief are all intertwined. The suffering must end.Women must make their children aware of the despair that can be seen in the lives of so many changed forever by the gun. Black women suffer even more, because Trayvon Martin’s murder is a conscious reminder — captured forever online — of the blatant disregard for black life.This cycle of guns, death, and grieving black women must end.
Hell is repetition.