If two black films getting popular is such an anomaly that they can be treated as interchangeable, even though they focus on different subject matter, how indistinguishable are black people in everyday life?
Dear Black and Latinx family, I write this for you because I rarely do. This reality sunk in a few months ago during lunch with a former supervisor. We were discussing Tal Nehisi-Coates' Between the World and Me, pointing out how striking and vital it was that he so unapolegetically directs his thoughts to black people. In contrast, I realized that much of what I write has another audience waiting beyond the curtain. My subconscious has been molded by expectation and pressure to write for this audience, to teach and challenge, to elucidate and defend, to appease. Yes, appease because I fear being barred from the parties of discourse where I am viewed as exceptional--not one of "Those People." The unfettered desire races around the mind room where I hide it: I want to belong there--fully.
I'm tired of seeing the suffering black body. The TV screen blinks off, taking with it the image of yet another poor African child staring at me with wide, hollowed eyes. The melancholic instrumental in the background fades, and I am left counting how many infomercials, news stories, and movie trailers I'd seen that week … Continue reading the flesh to my bones