I have to admit that, like many Black people, the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin took me out of my groove, broke my productive stride. The anxiety related to the verdict and the trial’s cultural, historical, and global implications notwithstanding, my anxiety was mostly related to seeing the depictions of George… Continue reading Body Stories: Mirror, Falling, Shaking
What is there to know about a poem except that the experience of a poem should press on the most local bodies (meaning stories) to the most universal narratives like time, family, history, and freedom. The poems in Black Lemonade: poems open up to notions of choice and vulnerability in the face of seemingly no… Continue reading Black Lemonade
So, just what is a body? Seems like a strange question, right? I know, I know. I gave a side-eye the first time someone first seriously asked me that question. I found myself struggling to answer concisely because the harder I tried, the further away from my center, meaning notions of my own body, I… Continue reading What is a Body (Ody, Ody, Ody)?
I remember visiting the state newspaper and discussing the role of the press and media while watching the actual newspaper printing, rolls of paper whirling around conveyors and the “weird” smell. I also recall a New Media segment in a high school freshman English class in which we studied the different types of media messaging and propaganda. My key takeaway from my early media training was twofold: Media is always trying to persuade, and there is always someone doing the persuading, for some reason.
So, real talk, I can save you from what you may perceive as “the trouble” of reading what’s ahead in the next few paragraphs by first offering a paraphrase: the USA’s dominant ideology is white supremacy and is enacted by and to protect the interests of male white embodied people and then those interests of… Continue reading The H-TOMB Goes Boom!!!
Upon writing this, remnants of my anxiety during the protests are coming forth, the anxiety of being embodied as Black and male, recognizing that there is no place to run and hide from the constant signifying (more on this in the near future). I remember the contempt I felt seeing camouflaged vehicles and authorized children with guns patrolling my neighborhood. I recall how disgusted I was, and am, by the politics fueled by white supremacy and genital supremacy continually destroying our lives, and to a further extent, destroying our planet.
All I really remember at this point is my brother’s carrier sliding towards the truck door, then out of it. How did he start sliding? How did the door come open? Had my mother not closed it properly? Was it faulty? Had I opened the door and pushed my brother out?
I think on some level we suspect/know that this absurdity—of (mis)identifying people by skin color—is technically wrong, weird, and compelling us to perpetuate it. Seemingly, withstanding the overt, subtle, and almost invisible assault by white supremacy (meaning white supremacists, the people) requires such perpetuation because, under such domination, the constant withstanding becomes life.