From me, a black mom of a young black boy, to you. From him, an 8-year old black boy, to you and to me. May the words within this episode penetrate your soul and leave you with a sense of empathy, reflection, and renewed actions, that propels you to communicate, move, and behave differently.
This eipisode is emotion-filled and raw, yet still gifts coaching, cocktails, & conversations. Yes, I'm angry and disheartened, yet conditioned to see always see a glimmer of hope. May you remind yourself that IT IS OK NOT TO BE OK! It is ok to sit in the power of your pause, UNAPOLOGETICALLY! With the violence that's been thrust upon our black boys and men, I am giving you all of me. As a Black mother raising a Black Young Boy, the murdres, senseless acts of violence, and hate-filled streets hit hard and spun me in a momentary interruption that I wasn't ready for. Question for you - When you say the names of the Black and brown boys, men, women, and girls who have been murdered by police or hate-filled citizens (that we know of), what do you think about? When you say your name, what do you think about? When you hear my 8-year old son (Minute 22:44), what do you think about? SAY MY NAME! AND MEAN IT! DO YOU KNOW THE POWER IN YOUR NAME?
Grab your CC&C Journal at https://www.lolitawalker.com/podcast to take notes, jot down actions, and do a bit of reflection during and after this episode!
Additional References, some mentioned in this episode:
**This blog is a transcript of an episode on the podcast, verbatim. Read it and imagine Lolita pouring into you. Should any nuggets resonate with you, please subscribe to Coaching, Cocktails, & Conversations and write an amazing review so that others can also be inspired to hear and feel what you did. Thank you so much!
The affirmation for this bonus episode is, I am in touch with my thoughts and mindful of my actions. May this affirmation sit with you today? Grab your affirmation deck at lolitawalker.com/shop.
Welcome to Coaching, Cocktails & Conversations with Lolita E Walker. The podcast that coaches you up while meeting you exactly where you are. Grab your water, tea or something stronger and allow this podcast to help you feel that power in your pause. Come on in and join the conversation. Let’s go.
Hey change agents. How are you today? You know, as I am recording this bonus episode, I'm calling it, Say my name.
I can't breathe.
Stop, don't shoot.
Mommy, where are you? I'm so scared.
Officer, please don't.
These are words that sit with me when I think, say my name. I am a mother of a young black boy and it just sits on my heart. It just sits on my heart. And so, I open up this episode just saying that it is okay not to be okay. It is okay for your internal stoplight to be on red today. It is okay for it to be on yellow today. It is okay.
I want you to say my name. George Floyd, say my name. This black man who dies after being pinned down to the ground by police with what? A knee. A knee to his head. I can't breathe. My stomach hurts. Say my name.
Ahmad Aubrey, this unarmed African American jogger who was shot to death while jogging, right? While jogging in a suburban neighbourhood. You say my name.
Philando Castile, say my name. This black man was shot dead by police. Right? As he reached for his driver's license, say my name.
Christian Cooper, a bird watcher in central park who could have been in jail this morning or killed. Because this central park, Karen, fabricated and engineered this racial lie on him right before his face. Say my name.
Fear, you know, fear can be this sniper, this bullet, that's aiming to kill our black men. Why? Because we are black in America. You say my name, Eric Gardner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, Alton Sterling. You say my name.
When courage meets fear. We must use our outrage y’all to flood social platforms with just recognizing the perpetual cycle that stands before us. How do we step up? And how do we show out? We join our community of activism. We become a positive role model for our young black boys. We support our boys and girls clubs. We bridge our community.
You say my name. Say my name and mean it. You say my name with authority. You say my name with the respect, the respect that I deserve. You say my name. Say my name as I'm hunted. Say my name as I am profiled. Say my name as I am targeted. Yes, my young black boy’s, say my name. Affirm our young black boys and tell them that you stand on the power of greatness. You stand in your strength. You say my name.
Colin Kaepernick. So many has so many things to say about this black man who started a movement by taking a knee. And now you see, now you see the power of a knee, right? Now you see? Yes, I am angry. Yes, I am frustrated. Yes. I have a young black son. Yes. Say my name and know that this could be your son. This could be my uncle. This could be my son. This could be my nephew. This could be my neighbor. Say my name and mean it. And know that I am more than a skin color. But make no mistake that my skin color, Oh, trust. It affords me the strengths from generations before me. It is a blessing. yet, it is still a curse. You will say my name.
These men, their lives were taken way too soon. But what I will say is that, yes, I will say your name and I'll remember because your name, your name has purpose. Your name is bringing so much awareness to my son, to this generation. Your name means something. Your black life matters. Oh my God. Say my name.
Say my name. Walker George Bishop. Yes. To my son, to my black boy. I want you to know that when I say your name, I am reminded of sheer faith, strength, love, determination, pride, sacrifice. When you say your name, I want you to know that your name, your name is purposeful. You hear me?
Your name comes from my father's last name. Walker.
Your name comes from your grandfather's first name, George.
Your name comes from your father's last name, Bishop.
Young man, know that these three black men are power and they pour all of that into you.
Say my name. Know it, mean it. Look it up. Say my name.
We do not allow other people to define who we are. Absolutely not. We do not allow other people to define our greatness, our values, our worth our absoluteness. No, you don't. You are bigger. You are better. You are bolder than what anybody can say about you. You hear me? Say my name. And every morning when you wake up, I want you to say your name and you remember the foundation that you stand upon my son.
I cannot even imagine the mothers right now who have lost their sons, to endless violence. I cannot even imagine the loss. But I want you to know that, when I say their name, I see purpose. When I say their name, I see hope. When I say their name. Oh my gosh. When I say their name. I say to my son, son, this could be you. You know, what do we tell our sons?
We tell them, say thank you. Say yes ma'am, say no, sir. We tell them to say all of these things, these manners. We tell them, put your hands on the steering wheel. Don't reach for anything. Ask for permission. We tell them, don't wear your hoodie at night. What do you say, don't go jogging in the day?
Say my name and mean it. Know it. Say my name.
What do you think about when you say your name? What do you think about when you say their name? What do you think about when you say your son's name? Hold our black boys tight. Hold them tight and let them know that they are loved. Affirm them daily because they're not getting it in this world. They're not getting it in this world. Stand with them and let them know that little boy, little black boy you mean the world to me. I don't know what tomorrow has. I don't know if I'm going to be saying your name next. But I want you to know that as you stand here right now, you are greatness where you are. I want you to say your name.
There is so much power in a name. There's so much power in your voice. Your name means something. Behind your name is you. So, you show up, you make sure that you are living in a way where your name means something. Because if you are not here with me tomorrow, God forbid, I want to say your name and I want it to mean something. You mean something to me right now where you stand young man. Tell your black boys this every day. Say my name.
You know, I sit in this space and I can't tell you how much power that is in your voice. I can't tell you how much strength that is sitting within you right now. As a black woman, as a mother, as someone who has navigated corporate America. I tell you this right now, your name, your voice. It means so much.
Yes. Say my name. My name is Lolita with a T, not a D. You say my name and you recognize the greatness that is in my name. Say my name, when you're looking at an application and you pass by because my first name ends in an a. Say my name, when there is a college application that comes in and you assume that I am not smart. Say my name, when you pass me over for that promotion knowing that I am bad, knowing that I can do that job fifteen times better. Say my name when I don't get the same equal pay as my counterpart. You say my name, when I wake up and I must affirm my son and worry about him while I am at work, with you worrying about me. No, you say my name.
Wow. This bonus episode is because I woke up in this space. I woke up in this space and I'm like Lolita, it is okay to be sitting in a space where, what do you do? And when I talked to you about sitting in the power of your pause, know that emotion is part of that. You let it out however that looks like for you. Are you writing it down? Are you talking to a friend? Are you recording a podcast episode? Right? What is it? And know that yes, it is okay to feel angry. Absolutely.
But then after you sit in it, I want you to come and you say, but what is it that I can control? What can I be doing right now? What can I be doing? Can I use my platform? Can I be talking to my child, talking to them about what is happening in the world? Can I have courageous conversations with someone at my job? Can I talk to a friend that is a police officer and ask, what is it that you are doing? What is it that you can be doing now in your precinct to let people know that this is not okay? You say my name.
I thank you for listening in, you know, coaching around sitting in your pause. I'm talking to you right now. I'm getting my feelings out and there's so much power in it. The only coaching that I can give you today is really all about saying your name. Leveraging the power in your voice. And listening in to that affirmation that started with us today. I am in touch with my thoughts and mindful of my actions. What does that mean to you? I am in touch with my thoughts. It means take that moment to pause. What is it that you're thinking about? What is it that is on your mind? Write it down.
In this moment I feel what and then why? Write it down. Allow your time, allow that pause, allow that space so that you can feel the power in your pause. These things I say to you, they're not just clichés. They're real because I'm living them. Write that down. I want you to write down in this moment I feel what and then why, right?
If this is your first episode, you know, I dig down three times. So, then you just continue to ask yourself why. And then you sit in that last why. And you allow yourself all of those feelings. And then the second part of this affirmation is I am mindful of my actions. Be mindful. Be mindful of the people around you, be mindful, especially now of your employees, your employers, your family members, your loved one next door. Be mindful and check in on their state. Yes, I am a black woman and yes, it's okay to check in with me. Are you okay? No, I am not okay. It is okay to leverage the power of your voice, to check in. Be mindful of your actions. Be mindful at that next traffic stop. Be mindful that that could be your child. Be mindful.
You know, we can't control everybody. Absolutely not. There's so much hate in this world. Absolutely - being spewed from the very top. But what we have to do is be mindful of our actions. We are living in a world right now. My God, my God. But to raise a young black man right now is such a struggle. To look at my son and to look at all of the endless possibilities that are in our youth is just mind blowing. And to know that tomorrow you can be gone because of senseless violence. You can be gone because what somebody saw on the news or on a movie or on a video. What their friends say might've happened to them, which by the way could be a lie, can get you killed, can get you killed. So be mindful of your actions. Be mindful of how you are treating your sons, your daughters, your children. Pull them in, love on them. Affirm them, let them know to say their name.
You know, as we go into Cocktails, the second part of these podcasts. It’s about celebrating who you are when you come to this kitchen table with me every two weeks on a Wednesday. You know, I do have some things to celebrate.
Listen, this is a cheers to you today.
This is a cheers to you saying your name.
This is a cheers to you saying their names.
This is a cheers to you for showing up whether you were on green, yellow, or red.
This is a cheers to you for remembering that it is okay to not be okay. It is okay to be sad, angry, frustrated, infuriated, just plain tired. It's okay for you to feel numb. It is okay to sit in that, know that. Give yourself permission to sit in that space.
This is a cheers to all of the black mothers out there. Hold tight to your sons.
This is a cheers to you because sometimes you don't know what to say. And know that you don't have to say anything right now, except for that hug. And to let them know that you love them.
This is a cheers to all of the mothers who have lost sons to violence.
This is a cheers to all of the mothers of different races who are raising our black boys right now. May I remind you to please expose them to their culture? Please expose them to strong role models to their communities, to their boys and girls club, expose them to more than what is on TV. Expose them to the greatness that they stand upon, expose them to all that they are.
To all my black men that are fighting in the military, my God. Say my name. Fighting for a country that doesn't love back on you, every single day. We forget about the people that's not right in front of us.
We forget about those who put their lives on the line for us every single day.
We forget about community leaders.
We forget about doctors, lawyers, activist.
We forget about those that are struggling to find jobs right now. Yes. Say my name and mean it. I am Lolita Emmanuelle Walker. I am passion. I am purpose, I empower. You say my name and recognize that I show up.
Say my name, George Floyd, Ahmad Aubrey, Eric Gardner, Trayvon Martin, Alton Sterling, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray. Say my name, President Barack Obama. Say my name. I'm the president that people love, but yet so many people hate. Say my name. I held the highest position in this country. You say my name. Because of my name on paper, because you couldn't pronounce my name and you wanted to find anything and everything to pull me down to defame me. You say my name. For life you will say my name.
You ready for our conversations? When you say your name, how will you be remembered? How do you want to be remembered? Are you living in that way? You know, if you were to die tomorrow, how would people describe you? When I say your name, what is associated with that? We have an opportunity. We have a choice. We can change. We can keep going. We cannot control everything. But what we can do is stand on our foundation of faith. Absolutely.
What we can do is stand on our foundation of strengths. Yes, what we can do is hug on our black boys out here.
What we can do is sit in the power of our pause.
What we can do is verbally say, I am not okay.
What we can do is ask for help when we need it.
What we can do is know that there is so much that our black boys are going through right now.
What we can do is offer them the safe space to just sit in there right now.
What we can do is give them a minute to breathe.
What we can do is continue.
Continue to educate them.
Continue to love on them.
Continue to pour into them.
Continue to push them and just continue to be role models in their lives.
Continue to put them in front of positive, young, black men, older men, other men. Continue to put them in front of men so that they can see how much power that they have.
Let them see the role model that they are to so many others. What will your name stand for? What does your name stand for? Right. So, this is the bonus episode. I'll tell you that, you know, I came into this really, really heavy, really heavy. I think I was on red today. And after just getting all of this out, after talking about it, after really being present after really sitting with my thoughts.
After sharing this intentionally today, I am in touch with my thoughts and mindful of my actions. I must say that I have come down a level. I'm on yellow. I can say that right now. I am still frustrated. I am still angry. My internal me today, right now in this moment, I have come down. For me. That means I am sitting in a different space right now. I am still frustrated, angry infuriated. But what I can say is that now I have been able to step back as a result of talking to you. I have been able to sit back and I'm really looking forward to going to my CC&C journal. Because I do that too, printing it out and writing in my name and what does it mean? How do I want to be remembered? Am I living in that way right now? What can I do to shift? Because if I'm not here tomorrow, I want to know that my legacy stands upon the same foundation that I have. God forbid if my son is not here tomorrow because of senseless violence, I want to know. I want him to have impacted so many because he is standing on his name, his foundation, that I have tried my best to help him build. You say my name. You say my name and you mean it.
So, here's a bonus to the bonus from a mom and her eight-year old son. This is my son Walker, George Bishop. I have him say this affirmation daily. And I wanted to ask you to share it with us.
Walker Bishop: I am great. I am strong. I’ll try my best to focus all day long. I am special. I am me. Today I'll be the best I can be. I will honor my name Walker G B. I'm not a follower, but instead I’ll lead. I'm a child of God. I'll do the best indeed. I'm excellent. I'm allergic to average. I'll try to do my best all day long.
Lolita Walker: Good job babe.
Walker Bishop: Thank you, mommy.
Lolita Walker: Let me ask you something.
Walker Bishop: What?
Lolita Walker: When you say your name, Walker George Bishop, what does that mean to you?
Walker Bishop: It means I come from a long generation of black men that are strong and people are killing them, but that's not right.
Lolita Walker: When you say your affirmation every day you say, I will honour my name Walker GB. What's that mean?
Walker Bishop: I will honor my name. Like, if people make fun of it, I say, I don't care. My name is special and you can't hold that against me.
Lolita Walker: Well, thank you, sir.
Walker Bishop: You’re welcome.
Lolita Walker: I appreciate the interview for our little conversation over here, huh? I love you.
Walker Bishop: Love you too.
We have concluded another episode of, Coaching, Cocktails and Conversations with Lolita E Walker. Connect with me at lolitawalker.com for speaking coaching and my book, The Intersection of You & Change. Next time, bring a friend. Cheers.
**Lolita is a single mommy of a school-aged son. She is the owner of Walker & Walker Enterprises, a personal and professional coaching and consultancy that helps busy women and teams to truly feel the power in their pause. Through certified coaching, speaking, courses, her book, podcast, women and corporate retreats, and empowerment products, Lolita meets you where you are to journey you to where you want to be. Please visit lolitawalker.com for additional information and please do not forget to gift a 5-star podcast rating if you were able to take any amazing nuggets from Lolita or any of her podcast guests. It helps her grow organically and....also feels great to read and celebrate that win! Thank you for listening, sharing, and reviewing.