When I woke up this morning, I began my daily routine of breakfast and news headlines on television. After catching the weather and eating another spoonful of vanilla Greek yogurt, I realized I was running late and began to rush about my room.
In the midst of ironing my outfit and throwing my school books together, I paused when I heard the news anchor say, “Trayvon Martin would have been 18 today.”
For many, their 18th birthday is filled with excitement and an eagerness to take on the world. And well, getting into clubs finally. For Trayvon, his birthday is now another court date for his accused killer. Not a day of friends, family and cake.
As I reflected on Trayvon and his premature death, I thought about my nephew Kaden. Today is also his birthday. Though only 2 years old, that tiny human being has added a great deal of happiness to my life. The smallest dance he does or remark he makes causes me to roar with laughter. And when he greets me after a long day at daycare, I smile inside and out as he runs to me and says, “Hey Tawa!”
Kaden and his chubby cheeks are always aww‘ed at on the streets by strangers, but I fear that one day he may be profiled on those same streets just as Trayvon was on that day in Sanford, FL.
We can’t let Trayvon’s death be in vain. I personally refuse. Though his face may be absent from some news outlets, he and his family are not absent from my thoughts. There are so many young black boys who deserve to see their 18th birthday on this earth. Boys like Trayvon, and boys like my nephew.
Happy Birthday my nephew, my Boopsie, Kaden. Happy Birthday Trayvon, you’re not forgotten.