There are so many options out there for children to stay active and get moving. The opportunities are endless, it seems. While the idea of picking and choosing the best sports teams for our children is exciting….there are a few facts that many would like to keep hidden, that I can’t turn my head away from. Out of all of these choice picks…football and basketball are the “go-to” sports for many black families. You do not see a lot of diversity in hockey, tennis, soccer, even baseball. Demographics plays a part to an extent, but ignorance has a hand in this as well.
While sitting in my son’s gymnastics class, surrounded around all American Caucasian mothers, sporting their yoga pants and putting all of the details of their lives out into the open, as to brag on the slide and quite possibly compete against one another…(while wearing smiles on their faces), I deafened out the annoying yapping with headphones, Cuban music and a satisfying read from Langston Hughes: “Selected Poems of Langston Hughes”.
I would switch my song as the last one ended, and they would still be chattering…to no end ,about middle class (low key poor class) works of their husbands, where they live, errands ran…all conversation in which I naturally have not interest in. It is not so much the conversations, as much as it is, me being a serious SELECTIVE introvert, hopefully securing a seat, but most of the time missing that mark, packed in a tiny room like sardines, of Mom’s and their several children under 10, “they are ALWAYS doing something cute.” <<SARCASM ALERT!!!>>
One day there was a mom there who had croup and did not seem to understand what coughing inside of her elbow meant.
1 hour of gymnastics practice is a long time.
During this moment, I take a quick glance and realize that, as comfortable as I am in my own skin and being in any room, being the only racially ambiguous person there, besides the one other black mom who I did not see last practice, I am saddened to see how there are no other African American mothers sitting in those seats, waiting for their children . My son is the only Black/Latino child in his class, embodied into one. As proud as I am, to be that parent whom encourages their child to not see color and cultural habits as a blockade in the road to his dreams, I am also disappointed in the mindsets of many minorities. “Black people just don’t do this kind of stuff.” Why? That is just like the stereo type that black people don’t swim because “we” won’t get our hair wet. Speak for yourselves. I will not be around a body of water and not enjoy my life. “That’s white people stuff!” All of these racial comments and jokes that have spread around the black community like wildfire, has killed the quality of life in many black communities and homes as well. It is very oppressive. Perhaps one of the reasons why I can’t always identify with a lot people, is because I HATE negativity.
The decision to put my own son into gymnastics, came because he approached me about it. Finding an activity for him was a little more challenging, because he can not play compact sports or any sport that would leave him open to getting hit in the head or having his head jarred around. He had brain surgery. He kept flipping off of my furniture and driving me insane, so that is when he said; “Mommy you can sign me up for gymnastics and I can flip there!” Me: BET! 😀
To every minority, specifically black people….let’s do better. One cannot be so uncomfortable around “color” , class and culture, and then yell; “RACIAL INJUSTICE!” Stop self-sabotaging. No one can stop you from doing whatever you want to do in life, but yourself. An opportunity an option is just what they are….OPPORTUNITIES AND OPTIONS. There are no colors tagged to them and no one can put claims on things that belong to ALL. Enjoy life! God Bless! ❤