October 27, 2017

Dear Diary,

This will not be a letter of hurtful words expressing how he carries himself. Instead, I will uplift him up by reminding him of who he is. 

He is a man full of potential with a mind full of dreams. Yes, I know they all have dreams and those dreams can come alive…

I am not talking about those dreams of being a famous rapper, basketball player, or some get rich scheme doing illegal things. My hope is that they step out of the those stereotypes as a young black man…see themselves making a difference and creating legacies that will expand even after they’re no more. 

As I write, positivity rings in my head because I do not want this to come off as another angry message. Rather, I want them to see the potential and choices they have as young black men in this world. It is not an easy road but I ask them to fight. Do not allow the past to delay you. Do not allow self doubt to plant fear in your mind. Definitely do not let the words of people and your past break you. 

To be more elaborate when I say do not allow your past to hinder you, I mean this by saying, it doesn’t matter where you grow up, how hard life was and so on; never use that as an excuse and same goes for the race card. Yes, the past has created wounds and pain, but it’s not a justifier. Hard work is needed for any dream to come alive, whether good or bad. Life they say, is full of choices and the lifestyle you live is a choice. 

The way you present yourself is a choice…the people you have as friends, and the knowledge you obtain; all choices. 

There is a scripture that says, “it’s not what you put into your body but it’s what comes out.” The meaning of this is the knowledge you feed your mind (social media, TV) is what will come out. Remember you can’t speak of what you don’t know, right? 

My final words are: because he is a black man, his only way of life isn’t to portray this hard thug like behaviour or be a basketball player. Nor does he need to be a rapper to get rich or sell illegal drugs to earn a living. There are many opportunities out there, so step in confidence, remove the label that’s been placed, be different and make a difference. 

-Zauna

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