What Do I Know?

By Melissa Mosby

What is it that I feel when I am walking down the street, and walking toward me are 4 or 5 young Black men?... Young - like 17-25 years old?

I know my feelings are the product of what I believe to be true; I feel unsure... hesitant. alone - not just alone, but out of the 6 of us, I feel like the potential prey.

They are still approaching, laughing, and talking amongst themselves, but it seems as if each one looks me in the eye and their gaze says... What? What is it that I believe about them so strongly that it causes me to feel what? Apprehension? Fear?

What is it that I feel when I am walking down the street and walking toward me are 4 or 5 young Black men...? Young, like 17-25 years?

I know that it is how I respond to my feelings that makes all the difference.

What I feel is respect.

They are laughin' and talking amongst themselves - yet each one takes a moment to look me in the eye. "Good afternoon Gentlemen! How are you?" I say, actually meaning it - I smile.

"How you doing Ma'am?"

"Hey"

"Good, how you doing?"

They respond as we pass.

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