I wanted to take this moment to tell each of you, I love you. I have loved each of you the moment your mother said, “I’m pregnant.” One day hopefully you will feel the simultaneous emotions of excitement and fear, hope and doubt. These emotions did not occur at an ultra sound or in a hospital room when you made your first cry. No, these emotions erupted the very moment your mother spoke words communicating the existence of your life.
Life is such a precious word and all the possibilities which accompany your life were there the moment God chose to give you being within the womb of your mother. Your life has a dignity I can never offer the necessary words to communicate the immeasurable greatness which resides in the depths of your souls. This dignity is so tightly woven in each of you all I can say is what God has said about you, “You are his image and likeness.”
I hope you understand this truth about yourself. I have tried real hard, in success and failure, to communicate each of you matter. You are persons, wonderful human beings who reflect imagination and creativity, personality and skill, hard work and dedication.
I have relished the sway of your heads and hands as you put bows to string and made wonderful sounds with string instruments. You have made my heart swell watching the creation of paintings, designing images, and delving into the multiple ways to arrange colors. I have felt the power and intensity of leadership on the field of battle as you called plays, stopped the run, and saw you deal with the pain of defeat.
As you step out into the world, some will reduce you to a stereotype. You are going to be in the public and some will judge you on the appearance of your beautiful brown skin, the naturalness of your hair, and the strength of your voice. I can not protect you from these realities. What I can simply say as your father is one simple truth. A simple truth no lie can diminish and no policy or law can offer you.
It is the simple truth your life is invaluable.
Your beautiful Black life matters because you are a free person made in the image of God. You are a free person who is wrapped tight in dignity having limitless possibilities to offer treasures to our society and world. You are the legacy of financial minds, nurses, farmers, engineers, entrepreneurs, ministers, educators, and administrators. I want you to understand the measure of your life does not depend on your success and failures. Those will come over the course of your life. At the same time, stereotypes do not define the quality and value of your person. Do not give mischaracterizations the power to define what is individually unique and valuable about each of you.
It is the most simplest of truths...your life, the dignity and worth of your being is invaluable.
Your beautiful black life matters because you are persons reflecting beauty and grandeur, power and purpose.
I love you,