A friend of mine who knows of my admiration and love for Maya Angelou’s poetry sent me a poem written by her called, “Go and Hug Your Michael today.” It’s powerful and reflective to the point of making you want to take action. As the mother of two sons it touched me deeply. It chronicles a mother’s thoughts about her son and the pain losing a child must bring. The poem also discusses acceptance of self and how that affects not only the son but also his mother. It is fitting for us today because of the poem’s unique stance on loving our sons just the way they are. It dawned on me that whatever level our young men and old men reach, they long for love and acceptance. When we teach and show our sons God’s love for them they respond in kind by learning to love God, accept themselves and others. Hug your sons and daughters today and let them know that they are loved and appreciated. Don’t wait until its too late.
“Go and Hug Your Michael Today”
By Maya Angelou
Yesterday I cried watching the Michael Jackson memorial. I cried for a little
black boy who felt the world didn’t understand him. I cried for a little black
boy who spent his adulthood chasing his childhood. And I thought about all the
young black boys out there who may too feel that the world doesn’t understand
them. The ones who feel that the world does not understand their baggy jeans,
their swagger, their music, their anger, their struggles, their fears or the
chip on their shoulder. I worry that my son, may too, one day will feel lonely
in a wide, wide world.
I cried for the young children of all colors who may live their life feeling
like a misfit, feeling like no one understands their perspective, or their soul.
What a burden to carry.
As a mother, I cried for Katherine Jackson because no mother should ever bury a
child. Period. And I think about all the pain, tears and sleepless nights that
she must have endured seeing her baby boy in inner pain, seeing him struggle
with his self-esteem, and his insecurities and to know he often felt unloved
even while the world loved him deeply. How does it feel to think that the
unconditional love we give as mothers just isn’t enough to make our children
feel whole? I wonder if she still suffers thinking, “what more could I have
done?” Even moms of music legends aren’t immune to mommy guilt, I suppose.
When Rev. Al Sharpton (“who always delivers one” awesome “funeral speech”) said
to Michael’s children, “Your daddy was not strange…It was strange what your
Daddy had to deal with,” I thought of all the “strange” things of the world that
my children will have to deal with. Better yet, the things I hope they won’t
ever have to deal with anymore.
And as a mother raising a young black boy, I feel recommitted and yet a little
confused as to how to make sure my son is sure enough within himself to take on
the world. Especially a “strange” one. To love himself enough to know that even
when the world doesn’t understand you, tries to force you into its mold or
treats you unkindly, you are still beautiful, strong and Black. How do I do
Today, I am taking back “childhood” as an inalienable right for every brown
little one. In a world, that makes children into booty-shaking, mini-adults long
before their time, I’m reclaiming the playful, innocent, run-around-outside,
childhood as the key ingredient in raising confident adults. Second, I will not
rest until my little black boy, MY Michael, knows that his broad nose is
beautiful, his chocolately brown skin is beautiful, and his thick hair is
And nothing or no one can ever take that away from him.
“Now aint we bad? And ain’t we black? And ain’t we fine? -Maya Angelou
I absolutely love this poem. So reflective..so insightful..so appropriate for the time! The only missing ingredient for me is the statement that says, no matter what you feel or think, God loves you more than anyone else ever could. When Mama can’t and Daddy can’t and nobody else will, God stands with you waiting to wrap you up in His loving arms. No one understands you like the one who created you just like you are. No one knows you like your father in heaven and nobody ever could! Siince God made your chocolatey skin, your broad nose and thick hair, He loves and accepts you just the way you are because He called everything He made “good!”