A Bantô saying goes that “For every black child born into the world, a drop of dew falls on a glass of honey.”
Willie Hobbs Moore, the first black woman to earn a PhD in physics in the US, calculated in one of her studies that in a pregnant woman’s womb there are more cells than stars in the Milky Way, the galaxy where our solar system floats.
Kathlen de Oliveira Romeo was 14 weeks pregnant with her first child. She painted the symbol of male and female on her belly with lipstick, celebrating her pregnancy, received congratulations, asked her grandmother how to be a good mother, made plans for the child, if a boy the name will be Zayon, if a girl will be Maya.
Kathlen, at age 25, was living the honey of life. The dewdrop, Maya or Zayon, hung overhead. She wrote on her social networks: “There are 13 weeks and 3 days with the love of my life… I confess they are very different! A new thing every time! I wake up sometimes scared and thinking it’s not real…”
Kathlen will not wake up this Wednesday, June 9th. Never. She was murdered with a gunshot to the head during a confrontation between drug dealers and PMs the night before, in Bairro do Lins, North Zone of Rio, while going with her grandmother to visit a relative.
Zayon or Maya, were murdered even before they were born.
It is written in the plural because each person is an innumerable number of other possibilities of life, and of descent. The grandchildren that Zayon or Maya would have in the future were also murdered.
All those murdered, the mother Kathelen, the son or daughter, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will never get the chance to be conceived, have one thing in common.
They are black. They are in Brazil. Falling dew drops on something very different from honey.
“All the time, something new!” wrote the young first-time mother about the life she carried in her womb. The death of black people in Brazil, on account of actions by the State supported by part of the population, is nothing new. Normalized genocide. We no longer talk about Jacarezinho’s dead.
“I wake up sometimes scared and thinking it’s not real.” We don’t sleep. Black, rich or poor, peripheral or famous, right or left, he never had a peaceful night’s sleep in Brazil.
Except for the 9 months we sleep, safe, in our mother’s womb.
So sophisticated, now the black genocide in Brazil attacks us even during this sleep. Before we were even born.
Brazil preventing more black people from being born. And be born for what? Why be born? If life isn’t a glass of honey for us here?
We were born to make this place better. To Brazil, blacks only gave the best the country has.
But it’s worth?
Being black, even in this hell we call homeland, is a joy that only those with black skin know. A joy and a luck practically impossible to be achieved here.
We don’t sleep. We can’t believe it. Let’s kill the ability to surprise ourselves with what they want to normalize.
But we love each other, we desire each other, we have children and grandchildren, we think about the future, and we are determined that more of us are alive, more of us trying to save Brazil.
At this point, only drops, many drops, a rain of Mayas and Zayons, to save us.
Just a shower of honey.
Therefore, let us cry today dewdrops of anger and pain.
But let’s also love each other. Let us also have children, many black children, let us honor Kathlen, let us honor her short interrupted life, and what this young woman dared to do: Wish. Be happy.
Therefore, let us cry today, and whenever tragedies of this magnitude happen, dewdrops of anger and pain.
But tomorrow our obligation is to be happy for those who are no longer here alive to exercise desire. Our mission is to live. Our greatest affront is to want to live.
And our duty is to reveal the obvious, although everyday life tries to convince us otherwise: We are adorable. We are the best.
We are a young, pregnant black woman with a womb full of stars.