The black American has a lineage that was washed away in the ocean. A history that died on boats and in fields, on plantations, and in streets that brought despair.
We work during our lives to move past this historical hiccup. We are damaged and aimless but we sober up and began a path to living. Except some of us get stuck in the despair and cannot live a life of brightness so we scrounge and dig deeper into the underbelly of true life. Addictions, illicit sex, a cloud of smoke follows the downtrodden wherever they go. Some of us are cool and we wrap our bravado up in weed papers not knowing all the while our blunt is laced with despair.
The astute writer, Bell Hooks says, “It has been easier for everyone to focus on issues of material survival and see material deprivation as the reason for our (black america’s) continued collective subordinated status then to place the issue of trauma and recovery on our agendas” (p. 28).
There is overwhelming despair, grief, and trauma that has been poorly addressed with equal opportunity laws and governmental initiatives. You cannot heal a heart with a law. We cannot soothe the broken souls of black America by providing welfare checks or open door employment.
Money and riches doesn’t make you forget, cash doesn’t heal and it will not fulfill your soul. Billionaire blacks still have to live with the reality of black despair.
We should all do our work to move towards healing from our ancestral past that severed us from our heritage and left us scraping for a good life in a foreign land that we’ve now made our own.
It is not about victimhood. We are not victims. We have proved this.
We are smiling and dancing and working and laboring and decorating and writing and living our lives. We are human beings that have a complex history and deserve real freedom, which is in the mind.
Our bodies are free; we must now go about freeing our minds.
hooks, bell, 1952-. (c2003.). Rock my soul : Black people and self-esteem. New York : Atria Books.