NEPHEW!!!! Figured I'd start off a little bit energetic, this will be a rougher letter to write and read. I'm sorry I have to write this and that you have to be the one it's meant for. I know, I know, I have four nephews and three nieces but Corey you're the only one I could do this for. You are the oldest, the leader, I entrust you with this information and then trust you to protect your brother and cousins. Corey, I'm going to tell you some hard truths, and I want to remember them vividly, disgustingly.
Nephew, when I see you I am so conflicted in my response. I see this kid with so much life and energy, so brilliant and so rebellious at the same time. I see wit, I see this desire to make your own choices, you are awe-inspiring, and something to be feared at the same time. All the complexity that you carry within yourself is wrapped in something so beauty and burdening; black skin. Hear me out clearly nephew, this thing you had no choice over and will get so much pride for, will be the reason you are devalued.
There will be lies told to you Corey, don't believe any of them. Be careful nephew. Despite what people will tell you being careful isn't the same as being complicit. They will teach you that following the rules will protect you, which is true until they don't. They will limit your emotional expressions. They will tell you that you're a man, act like one, whatever that means anymore. Don't be too angry, don't shed tears, don't be anything but stoic.They will tell you that you're hair is unprofessional, despite the fact that your hair just naturally grows that way. They will tell you to keep your head down, pray and not act, and remain patriotic even when the country has no value in you. Nephew the truth is you are a commodity. You can be sold for entertainment or labor at less value than you're worth and whenever you stray from that role then you are a threat. A threat that can be removed through prison or death.
You will be violated because you are young, black, and male. When you get older you will be violated because you're black and male. At times you will be violated because your definition of male isn't as traditional as others. Corey never let your anger be settled at any of these violations. Use it, protect others with it, become strategic, change the world.
This is all I have for right now but I'll be writing you soon nephew.
With unapologetic Love,
Your hoodie wearing, degree having, uncle.