We Must Embrace Feelings of Agency Within Us

Everyday I come more and more to the conclusion that being black is a state of mind more so than anything related to biology. That everything that ultimately becomes the “black identity” … you know those stereotypes that embody the common notion of “blackness” and that create the black and white binary… those things are all fiction. I’m no more a child of Egypt than I am nigger. My most recent ancestors slaves, my more distant ancestors west Africans. Not in any way inferior to a slave owner or inferior to those glorious Egyptians. Just being dark and nappy headed is in and of itself glorious. Carved by the sun and the earth. We are what the birth place of humanity produces when you never leave it. Or when you left it but a few 400 years ago. Nothing to be ashamed of there. We are different on the surface, but all a part of a connected humanity. We are one. Our difference and variety should be marveled at instead of scorned. Proof of our species’ adaptability to nature. Proof of our resiliency literally visible in our genes.

Being yourself is indeed a revolutionary act, but I want to push that further. If you can create an identity that neither aligns with the dominant culture’s values nor is created in opposition to those values, but instead an identity that transcends those values. If you can understand that you can’t refute fiction with more fiction, and that we must instead grab hold to those concrete and transcendent human values of liberty, justice, equality, and fraternity. If you can do that you are a revolutionary. You must recognize that feeling of agency in you. Don’t smother it with drugs and alcohol. Don’t turn away from the feeling nagging you inside. Stop clinging to blind positive thinking. Stop trying to block those feelings of agency out.

There is a latent criminality to the American psyche. We understand the blood shed to make America what it has become, and we accept it. We understand that all the children of Flint Michigan were poisoned, and we accept it. We know people with vast wealth steal from us, break the laws they haven’t already found a way to rewrite, and lie us into wars, and we accept it. There is a latent criminality in the way we think, and it reveals itself in what we allow to happen.

We will either confront the fictions we’ve allowed to be constructed around us or we will perish under the weight of them. Those are our options.

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