With the onslaught of black boys and girls losing their lives in what feels like an alarming rate, I spend an equally alarming amount of time worrying about those I love and hold dear to my heart. At some point, we have to wonder why the lives of our children, nephews, nieces, neighbors and community aren’t valued, praised or respected. This morning I feel the need to praise my nephew, not only because I love him unconditionally but because he too is Troy, Oscar & Trayvon and that’ frightening truth does not escape me. Not for one second.
For Aaron Jackson on his 19th Born Day!
He was such a happy baby. Had a contagious little charm about him that surprised most folks. I genuinely loved hanging out with the child. Watched him a lot during the summer of 98. He was 3 years old by then. We’d swoop around town listening to music and laughing. He didn’t talk too much, but he was really observant. One afternoon I was taking him to visit my moms. Outkast’s Aquemini was in heavy rotation in my car that year. Me and little man rollin down California Ave, bumpin Spottieottiedopaliscious for like the hundredth time.
If you haven’t heard the track before the intro is mad infectious. For hip hop though, it was extra out of the ordinary because of the way the vocals drop. Anyway, we’re on our way to grandmother’s house, windows down, Spottieottiedopaliscious on deck, intro builds and suddenly from the back seat I hear a small voice sing “Damn, damn, damn, James”… “Damn, damn, damn, James”… I look up in the rear view mirror (as was my habit) and all I see is a smiling brown face and a head nod.
Now remember, he’s not my baby, I’m just auntie Dee Dee, so it’s not okay for me to let my man get out the pocket without reprimanding him. But I accessed the situation, and he was just feeling the vibe. There was no way he was tryna get away with anything. Plus, it’s some grown folks that don’t know how to come in on the beat. But here my 3 year old nephew was doin it from his car seat. I couldn’t tell him it wasn’t supposed to go down like that.
I still like me some Aaron Jackson. He still has that same friendly smile and infectious charm and on a good day, I can still get him to sing for me. Happy 19th Born Day Nephew! Your life matters. You are loved. You are here for a reason.
I love you
~ Auntie Dee Dee
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