I saw a post this morning. It said George Floyd called for his mum as he was dying but his mum has been dead for two years. It really got to me. That unanswered call is so painful. Imagine the desperation of a human being calling for the person who bought him into this world, knowing she isn’t here anymore. Take me back. Ashes to Ashes. We are human beings. Black people are human beings. I don’t want to have to remind you of that. I won’t. This isn’t really about sympathy either.
I don’t know where my head is on this, my thoughts and feeling are everywhere. I know I’m not alone on that. Maybe I will write something coherent on it at some point. For now, I can only continue to do what I can to help, forever. Taking action is important. This isn’t just now. This doesn’t begin and end with Floyd or Breonna Taylor. The names are endless. The murders and inequities are international.
Malcolm X’s Autobiography is one of the most influential things I’ve read, one of my favourite books. I was only in my early 20s when I read it so the impact was huge. The incredible ability of a person to drastically change and improve, the unshakeable confidence in the potential of Black people to succeed, the belief in self sufficiency, I could go on. It fuelled me to continue reading about Black cultures, resistance and histories in other books and online. A few years back, My husband gifted me with Ta Nehisi Coates’ Between The World And Me which also had a huge impact. The idea that White Supremacists need US in order to be THEM. There is no White without some version of Black. I’m long overdue a re-read of both, along with some of Coates’ posts on Atlantic.com. More than anything, I am particularly excited to read more from Black Women’s perspectives in non fiction. I think they may resonate on an entirely different level.
The incredible ability of a person to drastically change and improve, the unshakeable confidence in the potential of Black people to succeed
Reading Kehinde Andrews’ Back To Black last year, the events of the past few days and unboxing my old books made me realise I haven’t been reading as many works about Black resistance and progression recently. I don’t know why that is, I learn so much from them. Was this was conscious or not? Is it painful to read? Is it easier not to confront issues constantly? Have I just been enjoying other stuff? I have always, will always read and love works written by authors of the diaspora but I think my literature on Black thinkers and movement has been dwindling lately. I’m excited to get back to these and add more titles to my current reading list. Always open to recommendations. I love our stories, they are vast. They are happy, joyful, tragic, imaginative, romantic, provocative, futuristic, historic. I’m so so proud and wouldn’t change my heritage for anything. Reading more about our history, present and future is a celebration of it.