As I sit here prepared to type a piece worthy of being aligned with my library of works, but more trying, worthy of the company of pieces written by my Summit brothers, I consider my frame. Some have said dust intricately formed, I have called it a blood clot pushed beyond the limits of absolute nothing by muddy water housing an electro-magnetic spark. Nonetheless, whether the electromagnetic spectrum of light’s limited interpretation by human senses, or a brilliant way to protect against ultraviolet rays, I am every day reminded of this frame. Whether I adhere to the call to be “somebody” due to the incessant manner in which those that are also housed in similar fleshly architecture have been defined as “nobody,” or even “no thing,” or to absolve these social conflicts in the monist philosophical understanding that “no thing” is “all things,” and even more pertinent, that all bodies are one body, will not sustain the need to simply just “be.”
I suppose I’ve spent enough of one lifetime being exposed to the humiliations of being intelligently different to recognize many of the flaws inherent in most ideologies, or ideologues – to be more exact. I further suppose in my own way, that I refuse to be limited to the definitions espoused by greedy men manipulating reactionary souls in need of a self-esteem boost. For one, such as I, that has never been able to quite “fit in” any social designation, while simultaneously finding my Self in most socially delimited groupings, it can be a daunting task to force my mercurial spirit into a box that I not only didn’t fold, but also hate. As I have once written, if my route to freedom is to be made, it will not be that of Henry Brown…physically, or metaphysically. And although, my value, my worth, measured in the standards of this society that wishes me to conform to its will, is only minimum wage in the State of Missouri, I understand that some know not what the fuck they are dealing with here.
So, what does it mean to be Black in 2011, I ask…and I am still at a loss for a convincing answer.
Is it the tone of my skin that allows these words to save me time and time again from the brink of blind rage due to some malady sparked by acrimony exchanged with another soul housed in a construction with tones that reflect mine? Is it the tone of my skin that allows me to analyze the behaviors of a socio-economy that can’t seem to forget my past, and yet has convinced many other spirits dwelling in carnal abodes that have similar outer tones as mine to forget why we even have discussions like these? Is my negritude the sum of all their fears, or simply another coefficient in the polynomial you know as Owl that they can’t seem to factor out? Is my eternal worth to be packaged in a sealed container carried on the shoulders of individuals that have chastised me, and crucified my temperament my entire existence? For as much as I have suffered and loved Blackness, mine and yours, I have no desire to be limited by the shallow ripples of Blackness that have caused me to violate the rights of other Blacks in an attempt to be “Black.”
For every time I have cringed at the silent disapproval of my choice of clothing as a sign of my financial situation from a Black person, my Blackness writes down a note. For every time I have had to physically defend my Self because another Black person deemed me as “soft” due to my intelligence, my Blackness writes down a note. For every Black person born in the United States that has ever been referred to as Akata or scoffed at by their brothers and sisters grown in the social soils of the continent referred to presently as Afrika, my Blackness writes down a note. For every time a Black person born in the United States has ever called their brothers and sisters grown in the social soils of the continent referred to as Afrika an “Afrikan booty scratcher” or savage, my Blackness writes down a note. For every and all things that allow any and all White people on the planet Akebulan(Earth) a taste of privilege, my Blackness writes down a litany of notes.