There is a danger in this concept of heritage that US Black Media Trust attempts to address. While scrolling my timeline on Twitter (dated it!!!), I came across an interesting contradiction of sorts. A user posted a historical bit about Moors in Spain. They added to that more factual statement a bit about “biggest mistake we’ve ever made”. And it gave me pause. My trademark initial reaction was,”who is ‘we’?”
Who is ‘we’? In spaces where conspiracy theorists are branded “conspiracy theorists,” there is much ado about “they”. Who is this ‘they’ that is constantly bandied about, right? In that same vein, however, who is this ahistorical, noncontextual(or at best quasi-contextual) ‘we’? More importantly, how healthy is it for me to be claiming defeats I did not, nor any of my kin in that last 500 years, have anything to do with?
Heritage is always fictive. National pride is fictive. Nation is fictive. Race is fictive. There is a difference, a subtle nuance but one worthy of distinction, that distinguishes Black History from a historical account of a human that could maybe be labeled “Black”. Even from a purely spiritual or metaphysical reading have to be able to take into consideration intentions and visions for behaviors. Moors of 711(Modern Christian Year Calculation) did not cross that Strait of Gibraltar as a racial deed. They did not even think of race in same terms and ideas as my contemporaries.
I do not need to claim victories won by people that share skin hue, or analogous hues of skin tone, with me. There is a convenience in how I see heritage being ascribed by some, even in my own public accounts. There has to be a specificity, not a localization, of deeds done to be deemed comprehensively belonging to all members of a group. Especially when done retroactively without regard for specific context those who actually did that deed lived in, physically and ideologically.