My dearest little brother, here are a few things that society would like you to remember as your start 6th grade:
Do not use multi syllable words so that you have points taken off your writing assignments or are accused of cheating.
Actually, just use a third grade vocabulary.
Do not put your hands in your pocket while browsing through the store.
Actually, don't browse. Don't go in the store. Your buying power is seldom recognized anyway.
Do not make eye contact with police officers.
Actually, don't avoid eye contact either. Bob and weave. Shuck and jive.
Do not play with your nerf guns outside. Actually, don't play with them at all just in case you mention doing so and society associates that with you having a propensity for violence.
Do not run through the neighborhood to get to your friend's house or in the park.
Actually, do not run anywhere or at anytime. Just stay in the house. In your place.
Do not wear that grey and black hoodie that you love so much.
Actually, don't wear any hoodie, but beware those in white hoods. Even -- and especially -- the invisible ones.
Do not, when approached by police or any authoritative figure, stray from simple yes or no answers, with yes ma'am or yes sir punctuating each response.
Actually, and make sure you don't make any sudden movements.
Do not give racists a reason to kill you.
Actually, by virtue of your beautiful melanin you already have. It, apparently, is a weapon.
Now, here is what I would like you to remember. To know. Melanin is not a weapon. It is an honor. Your strength and intelligence are gifts. Speaking of gifts, you are one from God and nobody should ever make you feel less than.
Unfortunately, they will try.
Stay woke and stay steady in a fight that we are both too young to have to fight. I will raise my voice with and on behalf of you. Together, it is not the "do not's" we will focus on, but the rights we have to "do".
You have the right to "do". Your life matters.