I have been working on this, Kitchen Table Talk No. 140, since last Wednesday. I have written paragraphs reminiscing about summers in my hometown, about early June days with my children being “free” from school, about the taste of summer produce.
It all just feels meaningless right now. What are we talking about across our kitchen tables? We are talking about what we should: the terrible inequities in the “Land of the Free.”
Here’s the problem with Sherri Gardner Howell writing a column about the murder of George Floyd and the aftermath it has spurred: I can’t begin to understand what it’s like to be black in America.
As a mother of sons, I constantly worried about them as they grew into teens and young men. “The Talk” was about girls, responsibility, drugs and sex. It wasn’t about racial profiling or an inherent danger because of their skin color. I never once remember telling them to be afraid of the police. I don’t know that culture, those problems.
What I do know is that the murders of George Floyd and of Ahmaud Arbery in February show, once again, that our system and parts of our culture target African Americans. I pray that the riots won’t be allowed to overshadow the absolute fact that this country has a systemic problem, a big one.
Writing for Time.com in June of 2018, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., knew what to say. Read it. Whether you are black, white or green, try to wrap your mind around what he says: https://time.com/longform/black-fathers/
Sherri Gardner Howell has been writing about family life for newspapers and magazines since 1987. She lives in West Knoxville, is married to Neville Howell and has two sons and three grandsons.