On Wednesday, the Yale College Black Men’s Union launched a photo campaign titled “To my unborn son,” for which BMU members posed holding a white board containing personal statements to their future children. The campaign follows the decision against indicting Officer Darren Wilson after the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Messages ranged from motivational to insightful and included, “Don’t let them tell you who you are, but be aware of how they see you” and “Your skin is not a death sentence.”
“We felt compelled to stand in solidarity with Michael Brown’s parents, as we can only imagine how it must feel to lose a son in such a traumatic way,” BMU Vice President Mitchell Jones ’16 said. “Thus we created ‘To my unborn son’, an outward display of a relatively private message from a BMU member to his future son.”
The group has posted photos on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, where it also published a letter to Brown’s parents.
“We realize that we are all Michael, we are all sons, and although our stories may differ, we know that the fate of your son could also be the fate of any of us,” it read.
The campaign has generated significant online attention, with outlets like Al-Jazeera and The Independent running stories about it. Several others from the University community and beyond shared “To my unborn son” on their personal Facebook and Twitter pages, often voicing their support for its messages.
“I think [the campaign] allows us to voice our opinions about small acts of racism, at the same time enabling us to express our aspirations for the future generations,” Edwin Prince ’18 said.