Peace and her friends
Visit here often
Resting a while
Before strolling away
But not without gifting
Just a few of their wisdoms
To content this soul
Until their return
Peace and her friends
this was asked by someone on facebook (fate!! haha…), i answered with the following and think i articulated myself much better than with ma last post on the subject…:
NAT-UR-AL!! (about to be mightily pretentious, sorry…) chemically straightening black hair IS occurring within/IS connected to a much broader social/political/historical context… as benign or empowering a thing we try to make it, it isn’t, its colluding with an insecurity that we’ve internalized that needs to be rejected in all its forms… says me though…
toni morrison + cornel west on young people
“they’ve grown up in a different kind of world; their world is so market saturated, that its hard for them to gain access to non-market values and activities that they can ascribe weight to. because everybody is gimme, gimme, gimme … its the sick civilisation that would be so obsessed with … the targeting of its children as a constituency to consume and think that somehow the future is going to be in mature hands when they’re 100% of the future… that’s not just short-sighted, that’s pathological…” - cornel west
toni morrison - young people and possibilities
near the end she sums up the irony of the contemporary condition of so many young black people so well, and unintentionally by extension the majority of us… in trying to be ‘authentically black’ or mimic whatever is being (re)presented as such (she singles out rap), they couldn’t be being more fake, or further away from discovering and appreciating who they are/could be, as a black person or otherwise…
the politics of black maleness will always be a point of departure for any number of interesting conversations about any number of things… and i feel that black people should be talking about them amongst themselves more.
in black communities, i think its pretty fair to say (and have the gall to generalise), that if you don’t strike a particular pose of black maleness, you’re almost immediately disenfranchised, your credibility not only as a man but a black man certainly becomes a fluid thing, even despite how open-minded the black person who is interacting with the black man in question thinks they are.
interestingly enough, though bringing up one’s blackness with white people may be awkward and may end up in the same disenfranchisement, in my experiences more often than not, the white people i have brought up race with have at least on average been more open to me in all my “off-beatness” as a black male than black people have been, even if they ultimately don’t necessarily understand me as such. and that’s worrying… obviously hopefully…
black men, and anyone in general, who realise how actually fluid and ultimately superficial the various discourses that define them (i.e. gender, race, capitalism) are, should make it a point to articulate their awareness and show that it is actually possible to exist outside of them, or subversively through them, and the limits that they imply.
not me…? no, not really, no. i value partnership, collaboration, both people giving their all, rather than dominance or what “she’s supposed to do” and what “he’s supposed to do”. not saying i don’t want to be trusted, loved, etc, but don’t want to adopt a traditionalist approach to manhood or gender roles. frankly, their boring, their restrictive, their silly. patriarchy is silly. matriarchy is silly. archy(s) are silly. resisting a conception of adulthood that began as a childhood conditioning of these values isn’t silly. men can actually value and realise themselves as “men” beyond patriarchy. its quite nice actually…
is such a wonderful gift and beautiful opportunity. seeing a child grow healthily and happily to affect their environment with the unconditional compassion and patience that you’ve shown them is something that i look forward to. the difficult moments just seem to melt into the sublime ones and one can discover for themselves a sense of love and patience that they were hitherto maybe unable to be vulnerable to, but have to now for the sake of a new life that they are responsible for. they are that child’s first experience of the world, their first point of contact with other people, their child is beyond vulnerable… beyond vulnerable… mistreating a child is nothing short of evil, there is never a reason… ever…