Jordan Edwards is dead. When I lift my fingers to type, they drum down on the keys with the weight of this--the names of the people Racism has stolen from my communities. They are not just headlines that will pass away; they are not just bodies behind bars. Yet I live in a country where … Continue reading to write and riot: one year later
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 watched a tree murdered once. Sixteen years old, cowering behind a rocky outcrop, I stood frozen as two teenage boys, stretched tall and wiry, thrust themselves at a spindly shoot of a tree. They shoved their bodies at the trunk, and it swung through the air like a broken pendulum, its limbs flailing, waving … Continue reading the house in flames