The Anthology 
Air






A Mother On Black Boys


By Harrison David Rivers



(A woman appears.
She speaks out.)


MOTHER
I’ve heard people say that it ain’t nothing new.
That this sort of thing has been going on since the oldest of us can remember.
Black boys and guns.


And I’m like
What makes a young man pick up a nine millimeter instead of a paintbrush?
Or a trumpet?
Or a pen?
Or a basketball even?
A book?
What makes him pull a trigger when he could improvise?
Or riff?
Or scribble?
Or lay-up?
Or imagine a better life for himself?
A better world?
What makes us forget how truly extraordinary we are?
And in our forgetfulness relinquish our power?

Cause see,
My son came from a loving womb.
People say that we can’t remember that far back.
They say we can’t remember the place we came from.
That we can’t remember our beginning.
But I say, you don’t never forget love.
It gets beaten out of you.


I loved my son.
He could have been anything.
A painter.
A musician.
A writer.
An athlete.
A scholar.
Because he was extraordinary.


They say that the devil’s greatest trick was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

I say that the world’s greatest trick is convincing our black boys that they are not loved.

(Lights fade to BLACK.)