Had he not taken his life, today his mother would be waking him up with a welcome to his last year of childhood before his teen years. He probably would have had a nice breakfast, maybe one last look at the mail to see if any other relatives had sent him a birthday card with a five or ten dollar bill in it. His mother would have told him the embarrassing story, for the umpteenth time, about how he used to cross his eyes when he was a baby and giggle so hard he passed gas. Or about how he used to hate wearing a diaper as a toddler and once streaked through the living room, bare-bottomed and free, where Pastor and several other church members were seated. He would have rushed at the last minute to locate his math book or his science homework, and been ushered back into the bathroom to wash a bit of toothpaste from the side of his chin. He would have left his house with a big smile on his face.
But then, likely even on the anniversary of his birth, he would have gone to the New Leadership Charter School and would have once again been taunted for not conforming to other kids’ strict narrow ideas about what a 12-year-old Black boy should look like and be like.
Besides what would have been Carl’s 12 birthday, today is the 13th Annual National Day of Silence:
The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Each year the event has grown, now with hundreds of thousands of students coming together to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior.
Many bloggers have been following the story of this young man. I know I am missing many. (I’ll update as I come across more.) But a few posts I have seen:
- Electronic Village: Carl Walker-Hoover’s Mom Speaks on Suicide and the School Yard Bully
- Feministing: The Consequences of Anti-LGBT Bullying
- Field Negro: Why Isn’t Anyone Out Protesting for Him?
- Pam’s House Blend: The Advocate interviews mom of 11-year-old who committed suicide over gay taunts
- The Bitch in Black: In Memoriam
- What About Our Daughters: Carl Joseph Walker Hoover and 1,500 Farmers in India
- Happy Nappy Head: Henry Thomas of the Springfield Urban League Responds to My Email Regarding Carl Joseph Walker Hoover (plus several other posts about this case)
- This Black Sista’s Page: Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, 11, Commits Suicide Over Anti-Gay Bullying
“To Be Young, Gifted and Black” by Nina Simone
“Bridge Over troubled Water” by Aretha Franklin
“God Bless the Child” by Billie Holiday