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For the Caregivers Waiting to Tell Their Story

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Dear Caregivers Waiting to Tell Their Story, 


The other day, I asked a friend to tell me their “brilliance” story. He launched into a 90-second well-rehearsed speech about the institutions he worked at and all the degrees he’s accumulated. I watched as he contorted his face into a smile, emphasizing the words he’s been taught to emphasize so that the listener on the other end deems him credible.  


I gave him a side smile and said, “No, my friend,your brilliance story, the one you want me to tell your grandkids about you and your brilliance. I want to hear all the moments when you felt your brilliance hit the world.”  


He laughed and shifted nervously in his seat, “Okay homie, no one has ever asked me that before, give me a minute to wrap my head around what you’re asking.” 


I smiled, “Well, how about you start at the beginning…your brilliance story, please.” He told me stories of his youth, and we wandered through the corridors of his mind. 


Over 90 minutes (and three cups of peppermint tea), he described all his moments of Black brilliance. He shared examples from school, basketball court, work, friendships, and love. 


As he shared, we laughed, cried, high-fived, embraced, and laughed again. His story of brilliance reminded me of how integral our brilliance is to who we were, who we are, and who we will be.  


As a caregiver, I am struck by how often we hesitate to tell our children the stories of our brilliance. Have you tried telling your life story through your moments of brilliance? 


Our brilliance stories carry wisdom, which is part of the gift we are blessed to share with our children. Our wisdom is our legacy and the intangible lessons we teach to our children as we move through this world.  


So, how about this month, when we sit around the Thanksgiving table, let’s create a new tradition where we unapologetically share our brilliance stories?  


Let’s recall, with love, the stories that give us long-lasting wisdom. Let’s loudly and proudly share the stories we want our children to know about the ripple effects of our brilliance anddrop clues to the legacies want to leave three, four, five, and seven generations from now.  


With gratitude and love,