The Veil

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 14, 2018

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Submitted: September 14, 2018

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“One ever feels his twoness, -- an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” - WEB Dubois in the Souls of Black Folk

 

What is it like to be Black in America?

A serious question worthy of multiple answers.

What is it like to be Black in America?

Eating some soul food that causes cancers.

What is it like...to be Black in America?

Divided and conquered yet emotionally armored. Fighting each other, your sisters and brothers, with a loss of respect for fathers and mothers.

What is it like to be Black in America?

Electric slides and groove lines, yams and collards for sides, with a tall glass of some super sweet tea. Or maybe that’s just a southern thing like cornbread, barbecue, and fried everything. But…

What is it really like to be Black in AmeriKKKa?

What is it like to be too Black for White people, but not Black enough for Black people?

What is it like to have to fight for the right to even BE people?

What’s it like to work twice as hard, get half as far, and still get looked over for who you are, cuz your skin is dark and your name is “hard?”

What is it like to have your best leaders, turned to martyrs?

What is it like to learn to hustle and barter?

What is it like...to be Black…

In America?

It’s often like a movie like Roots, Juice, and Fruitvale Station. Being Black in America is like the second Birth of a Nation, not the first one with Black Face that President Woodrow Wilson played in the White House, but the one that showed US standing up for what’s right, regardless of what we’re facing! Being Black in America has always been lived thru the Veil: through the two sides that divided our in and our outsides. You gotta acclimate to the White world while maintaining the connection to the Black. And Lord forbid you lose touch and sell out. “Hell nah man that’s wack.”

So I gotta ask again: what is it like to be Black in America?

It’s not trying to make America great again, because no point prior is one where the poor, women, and minorities can win. It’s not gang banging and drug slanging, cuz that leads to our people being caged in.

What does it mean to be Black in America?

Being Black in America is to codeswitch. It’s to dance with your hips. It’s 4C hair everywhere. It’s loving your melanin, the brown in your skin. Being Black in America means to know the struggle, the hustle and bustle, from ya ancestors who were wrangled and rustled, from far across the pond to being made New Slaves, unable to pay steep bonds, but filling deep graves. Being Black in America is to know why the caged bird sings, for freedom, a bell we had muted every time that it rings.


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