THE LAST FEW WEEKS have been trying times for me as a father. The debate on police brutality has taken the national stage, pitting one side against another in an ideological battle over life, death and the use of force in our communities.
We’ve seen unarmed men choked to death. We’ve seen police officers gunned down. We’ve seen epithets hurled, aspersions cast and hatred swung like a sword.
And through it all, those of us who are parents have had to guide our children around the chaos. We talked with them about race and class, about our rights as Americans, about the dangers they must overcome.
But in the midst of those conversations, I turned 47. I did so with the expectation that I would smile, but that the tension that has blanketed our communities would be somewhere lurking in the background.
Then my daughter stepped in.
In order to understand what that means, you must first know that there’s something different about daughters. They can frustrate you with sneaky shenanigans that boys aren’t diabolical enough to try. They can encourage you to keep going with a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
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Illustration by Richard Harrington
Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon.