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"I Am Not Your Negro": Centering Blackness

Note this piece was inspired by the documentary, "I Am Not Your Negro."

I don’t hate white people. I hate white supremacy—this illusion with tangible, visible, palpable consequences. I do not want to be accepted or loved by an idea that inherently loves my demise…the eradication of my spirit. The distortion of reality. Whiteness creates this fantasy world, where violence, murder, and genocide animate fairy tales, blockbusters, and must-see TV for the reader’s digest; yet, something that white people think isn’t really happening.

Am I crazy? Am I suffering from mental illness? Maybe I am crazy for thinking that the American Dream is just a movie with endless scenes and acts of domination, dehumanization, and death. They call it a Shakespearean tragedy. Maybe there’s some dramatic irony here…Maybe, they know something I don’t know...To them, I am just a character, whom they will cast in a side role but spotlight my great exit. America loves a good villain or an easy-to-kill scapegoat. And white America implicates itself every time it makes a movie…Art imitates life and life imitates art, right? Watching many popular films in America is like watching a public lynching. How many movies can we make about war? Gunplay? Senseless and intentional killing? Don’t get me wrong, I love Pulp Fiction, yet it is hard to stomach when you are being squeezed…your blood, the oil that keeps America dreamin’, feinin’, and schemin’.

My white friends never knew what it was like to be a public enemy in a private school…They say I was exaggerating. They say I am in a free country. They say I’m just playing the race card...I don’t play cards, but I know you can’t beat the house.

They say I do not want to work hard or pull myself up by my bootstraps. And ironically and disrespectfully, I am the one who does not want to take accountability, the one who does not want to face reality, the one who does not want to toil and make something of himself. What a dream? Sometimes, I can’t even make myself out to be the hero in my own dreams at night. When white America dreams, I sit in my apartment, wide awake, blinds close, sweating, sleepless, aching, nowhere to run or hide, not even in my mind…so, I just may be out of my mind.

I do not hate white people; I repeat. I write this a day before Valentine’s Day, February 13, 2021. Love is within me, even when Black Love elicits white hate. I am done trying to prove my worth, my value, my allegiance to white America. The nature of such commitment means that I believe whiteness is my master, my father, my God. As long as white America continues to capitalize off my pain, my struggle, my death, I will no longer capitalize whiteness.

I AM embodied, embattled, and emboldened in my BLACKNESS.

I am done trying to win entrance into white heaven; they barely wanted to accept me into their schools. My white co-workers tell me to pray, to hope, to look for God in all things; yet, they cannot seem to see the devil in many things…maybe they just don’t want to see. No, not white devil…that would be too simple, too easy for you to dismiss my point and fall deeper in the American Dream. If you have stopped reading or rolled your eyes at least once, then I know I am apparently mentally unstable, a schizophrenic of sorts…uncivilized, not worth hearing, seeing, feeling… maybe not even worth a soul….God make my body, whiteness takes my body…my energy cannot be created or destroyed. Again, God constructed me. white America wants to destroy me, specifically lavish at my slow death as it picks me apart, limb by limb, family member by family member, page by page of my histories.

Tell me a time when America was great….I’ll wait. Funny, I have to use the language of my oppressor to make a point. Well, they already made their point when they publicly murdered Jesus. On that cross. And here I am at a crossroads. They say He died for our sins. I wonder if people use that as a justification to kill others for their sins. I am no Jesus, no saint; just a spirit in a lovely Black body still publicly pruned, picked, and pillaged…strange fruit hanging…America has always had a sweet tooth, an insatiable appetite, a cow’s stomach for blood, more so bloodlust. I wonder if the blueberries and strawberries that I pick ever scream out in pain as I pluck, play, and eventually pop in the air for one last look at the heavens above and then down to pits of my stomach. Oh no, not just one; white America wants the whole vine, the whole family. The Blacker the berry….white America embraces destruction as creation.

Look on the bright side. Many of us have known the dark way before our Mother’s womb. I sometimes am afraid of the dark; however, I am more afraid of the fact that some of us live willfully ignorant in the dark and some of us even kill in the dark. Shit, our government has been known to sanction and spotlight murder in broad daylight. In the Shakespearean play, Othello, the Duke says “your son-in-law (Othello) is far more fair than black.” Indeed, I am Black with a white name. Indeed, I want to be just in my Black skin. Indeed, I just want to feel safe in my Black skin, as whiteness works tirelessly to skin me alive to the white meat. It is only fair that I see you at my last supper, for the dark meat is always the main course.

I may not have joy, but I do have faith. I do believe in love, but only the action form of the word. My grandmother raised me to know Jesus Christ, my real-father left me in crisis. My mother and step-father baptized me in love, family, and service.

I do not hate white people. I just love my Blackness.


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