Black, Personal Narrative, Racism, Scholarship, Terms and Definitions, White Supremacy

What Is ‘Black’? Or, Why Do My Eyes Deceive Me?

Ok. This is where things are gonna start to get, let’s say, a little tricky. I’m an interdisciplinary researcher which, to me, means that I contextualize my inquiry relative to the identifiable influences on/in my life. Moreover, I recognize that these influences are primarily white supremacy and maleness which extend towards racism and heteropatriarchy. This recognition was not an easy encounter; it forced me to see just how under siege all of our lives are by white supremacy. This recognition and the seeming futility of attempting an escape, meaning the inescapable vulnerability, prompted me to test the futility, search for a way out from under white supremacy’s and genital supremacy’s constant prodding and manipulation. In other words, what’s the deal with maleness and whiteness?

I set about this inquiry upon birth in terms of having a Black body. However, formally, my inquiry was as an undergraduate at a HWI, and, further, pledging a traditional Greek fraternity. I formulated and tested more questions at graduate school in a MFA program as the only male Black person (I fear that this may be the case fourteen years later.) Then, I endured the question of myself in an interdisciplinary PhD program with more nonwhite people than I’d ever had the pleasure of encountering in academia, a program that brought together many of my interests: philosophy, art, aesthetics, history, creativity, embodiment, and social justice.

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