Black rage shows our humanity.
This is an essay supposedly about the importance of Black rage for Jordan Davis and other Black children and all I can feel is this soul-numbing sadness. I have become an ostrich in regards to court cases involving Black children: I stubbornly refuse to read any articles or to acquaint myself with the circumstances until the sands of time have run out and the verdict has been reached. So while most of America formulated their opinion months ago, I procrastinated.
Catching up on the news this week rendered me hopeless. My hands are as empty as the space at the Davis family’s dinner table. My thoughts scatter like buckshot every time I attempt to wrap my mind around the idea that someone can shoot you in a car, cause your death, and theoretically not be punished for that specific crime. Most days I can find the nuance in seemingly gray areas–but this is black and white. Racism.
Jordan Davis was a unique Black boy but I feel déjà vu looping me into a cyclical nightmare. My heart has been here before.
And it’s only a matter of time before we are here yet again. Because racists will keep killing our children as long as they believe it is their right to do so. As they have always done. And wading in a river of sadness will never do any permanent good. I have a feeling that those who hate my people would love nothing more than to watch us drown our sorrows in a chorus of “We Shall Overcome,” while the someday we await never happens.
Read more at Truly Tafakari!
Hey there, new readers!
Side note: I’ve always felt strange addressing people on any social media platform as “followers.” It feels self-aggrandizing to me and I’m not quite there yet. I’m grateful anyone reads my writing. But I digress…
If you’ve recently followed this blog, you may notice that I don’t post very often. That’s because this site is my professional face; I get down, dirty and goofy at my new blog (as of January 2014) TrulyTafakari.com. I occasionally cross-post here so you all won’t feel neglected.
Here’s a sampling of essays I’ve written recently over at Truly Tafakari:
How My Husband and I Paid Off All Our Debt
For Black Mothers Who Have Considered Shears When Blue Ivy’s Hair is Enough
Confession: My Sundays Are Segregated and I’m Okay with That
On Wonder Woman’s Wedgies and Comic Book Modesty
I’d love to have you over at my new digs…stop by for a visit!
This is a love letter to Black women, my sisters. I have never loved anyone quite as hard as I have loved you. This is not to say that I have not loved others well or loved them deeply, because I have. But loving you is hardness, requiring the density of commitment fortified by an enamel of truth. This love is jewelry decorating the wrapping of my skin–I could no more remove it than I could unzip my blackness, fold it, and pack it in a suitcase.
I know living in this world in your skin is no picnic. Because you are more than breasts and thighs and ass; they can nibble at your three piece but never lay claim to your biscuits. They will try to consume you, nibble at the meat of your magic until they spit out bones, but they will never grind you to gristle: You carry the marrow of Nzinga. They can reduce you to angry, hot gravy, thick and brown, but never pinpoint your savor. They try to pluck your femininity, call it oversexed. And always, you scratch back when bitten. You are fly, love, but you ain’t never been chicken(heads).
Read more at Truly Tafakari…
Hint: It’s not her surfbort
The most touching thing about Jay and Bey at the Grammys:
an impromptu prose poem
Wasn’t her leaning into him while he rapped.
Wasn’t the grin on his face watching her strut.
Wasn’t the grip of his hands on her fatty.
Wasn’t the hug and kiss they shared.
Wasn’t even the surfborting they pantomimed
(Bey better than Jay).
It was the tiniest, non-sexual clasp of their hands
as Beyonce stepped down platforms in undoubtedly 6-inch+ heels.
He helped her down the stairs;
simple, but the gesture moved me.
It was the way she held her hand up and he grasped it
without looking, as if he is used to catching her
before she’s even in danger of falling.
This is what it means to be drunk in love,
that you are ready to catch your spouse’s hiccups
without much fanfare. Because love is a sobering state
that you must be at least a little romantically inebriated
to live in forever.
Read my take on why the Grammys don’t matter at Truly Tafakari.
Justin Bieber is “just a kid,” but are his African-American peers?
Early yesterday morning, pop star Justin Bieber was arrested for driving under the influence. After swerving recklessly around the world for the past few months, the 19-year-old finally did what the public expected him to do: crash.
When child stars “go bad,” a certain class of apologist emerges, explaining away the stars’ actions as the folly of youth. Bieber is no different. He is just a kid, sympathetic voices cluck.
My mother used to say to me, with all seriousness, “Teenagers are stupid.” This never failed to wound my adolescent spirit, but I didn’t realize then that her degree in Biology gave her the scientific basis for her statement. The prefrontal cortex in humans, the part of the brain that regulates maturity, does not fully develop until age 25. That means, as in Bieber’s case, we do expect a measure of immaturity from young adults at age 18 or 19. So, we say they’re “just kids being kids.”
It is both explanation and excuse. Still, our selective use of that phrase makes me think deeply about whom we give passes to in this country.
When I saw Bieber’s grinning mug(shot) yesterday and read about how he’s “just a kid,” I thought immediately of Trayvon Martin. Why didn’t America consider Trayvon Martin just a kid? Why doesn’t America see black boys as children, but as criminals?
Read more at Truly Tafakari!