blackness

Black People Are Magic

Hey y’all!

Last night, I went out to Cascade Skating Rink (you saw it in ATL, if you didn’t know it as a cultural landmark) to celebrate a great friend’s birthday.

Something about being in the skating rink watching people just show off how fly they are, hang with their friends, laugh and dance with their partners filled my heart with pride. The varying styles for voluminous Afros to wet and wavy weaves. The Brooks Brothers brothers to the Adidas track suits. There was this expansive representation of Blackness all on the floor skating to Barry White or Migos or Junior M.A.F.I.A. or Frankie Beverly. It was breathtaking.

One of the greatest things about aging has been my increased appreciation of Blackness in every aspect. My family, as wonderful as they are, has always played by the rules of respectability which guided a lot of my younger thoughts. I was prone to making grand statements about how this or that would set back the race. But as I’ve matured, I learned to see the uniqueness of my people and to treasure who we are and who I am.

Things like skating rinks and barber shops were cultural and social centers in the days of segregation. The distinct taste of the food we make and the techniques we use are products of perseverance and poverty. The way we dress, the way we move, and the way we express ourselves delights me. It’s distinctive.

That’s what makes our culture so appealing. We thrive in adversity. We celebrate when there is little reason to do so. We live our lives with a freedom that should be celebrated, not stifled.

In this time where we have to take to the streets just to ask for basic human rights and justice, I’m going to continue to champion Blackness in all of its forms. They may not all apply to me but I refuse to cherry pick which aspects I deem “acceptable” for people and a system that doesn’t give a fuck about us.

EWB (Existing While Black)

Bonjour tous les mondes!

It’s snowing in Boston for what had to be the 100th time this winter. I’m so sick of it

But that’s not why I am here to talk to you all. If you’ve been following the news, you know another killer has gotten away with the murder of a young black male.

I can’t even begin to express my frustration with this case and those like it. To be honest, I’ve always tried to keep my opinion to myself because I’ve been at a predominantly white university or job. I don’t want to come across as the angry Black man. That is not a good look professionally, even when I’m completely valid in my feelings.

But that’s just it.

I’M SICK OF YOUR SHIT, AMERICA.

I’m completely over having to teach my niece and nephew that there is a full set of rules they have to learn just to live their lives. Yes, we have to and yes, it is your fault.

I’m completely over having to smile and laugh at dumbass racist jokes and questions.

I’m completely over having to defend every action that relates to Blackness in America.

I’m completely over code switching.

I’m completely over “reverse racism”.

I’m completely over micro-aggressions.

AND I’m completely over the loss of innocent lives because these people happened to be BLACK. And having to defend their existence and fucking prove that they were “the right kind of Black” who was worth living.

As I’ve explained to many a curious white friend, minorities (especially in corporate America) are forced to act as the face and voice for our entire race when these issues happen. So when an innocent person is murdered, I am going to take it personally and I am going to be offended when you treat the death like nothing. That’s what happens when I’m constantly defending what “black people” do.

I don’t have the luxury of being treated as an individual 100% of the time, because when the chips fall, I’m just another negro to you.

And that’s the gospel truth.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, know that this rant doesn’t apply to everyone. I shouldn’t have to say that.

But I want to specify that if you are an “ally” who won’t say shit when something wrong happens, you are worse than those who are actively racist. Wrong is wrong and if you aren’t willing to stand up against it, I simply do not have time.