Shamari Reid| May 2, 2018
to go back follow the Queen
The gift of sight. There are many things that once you see [them] can never be unseen.
Blackness, at least for me, is one of them. And most certainly, whiteness is another. In mentioning
Blackness and whiteness, I am not referring to just the colors; Similarly, my use of “sight” doesn’t directly speak to the sense that some may associate with the in/ability to process visuals through the eyes. I mean
Blackness that raised me. The
Blackness that is and will always be magic. Love. Strength. Soul. Energy.
Blackness raised me with all its beauty, brilliance, and boldness. I could never unlearn that. I always knew that Blackness was special. It came from a different place. It was dreamlike. I could never “unsee” that; I could never "unfeel" that. I always knew that
Blackness and the people it birthed were dope. They were powerful beyond measure. We were everything. Hell, we still are.
At the center of the universe I am sure you will find
Blackness (and Black lives) not only matter, but are the base of all matter. It is because of this early exposure that I never needed to unlearn or relearn anything about
Blackness. I knew what it was (at least for me).
Blackness was fish fries in the country.
Blackness was the cowboys of color rodeos. Grandma Smiley’s sweet potato pies.
Blackness was “lemonade”. It was joy. Hope. It was my mama gliding through our living room telling me that “ I think she don’t got it when she do”. It was every scene depicted in Beyoncé's formation video. All of that bomb ass visual album. It was Whitney’s voice. Nina’s, too. Malcolm X’s passion, and his growth.
Blackness was the little girl with the puff balls who owned the block. Her older brother. Her Ratchet girlfriends who created pop culture but were never credited. Morrrison, Toni.
Blackness introduced style and flair to basketball and really all the sports y’all watch today.
Blackness had to be the feeling(s) I felt while playing video games with my sister, charades with my aunt, and singing and dancing with my cousin. It was THE experience. It is because of
Blackness that I am all that I am, and that I am where I am, not despite of it.
So, how was it possible that others would not be able to fathom how
Blackness could be so extraordinary?-I used to ask myself. Then, I discovered that many of them could not see/experience/taste/feel
Blackness because all their senses were mired in whiteness. The difference between
Blackness and whiteness is that those of us who live
Blackness understand that it has nothing to do with anybody or anything else. It does not depend in any way, shape, or form on any other particle that exists apart from it. However, this whole whiteness thing (and the people it creates) derives its power and understanding from its distinction from everything else. That is, it only exists to counter all which is not whiteness. It is dependent.
Blackness derives its energy from within. We are independent.
Blackness tells everyone who has lived it that “ all of that aint got nothing to do with you”. In sharp contrast, whiteness maintains for some that their sense of self emanates from their flawed and dangerous belief in the inhumanity and inferiority of others; whiteness whispers to its subscribers “ all of that aint better than you”.