Blackness + America

O-AMERICAN-FLAG-BLACK-AND-WHITE-facebookLauren Michelle Jackson at The Point:

America wants to be everywhere by land, sea, bomb and/or cinema. America has mostly succeeded. Blackness, meanwhile, is everywhere in fact, touching every mappable corner of the earth. Blackness is the funniest, saddest, most beautiful, weirdest, most irreplicable thing visible and invisible to the human eye. From the lofty-minded labors of the academic elite to the capital passed in folded bills and loose change, to the arts and splendor that animate our unguarded moments—all these things owe their existence to Blackness and most of all to Black peoples.

As a Black person, this is not the treat you’d want it to be. As a Black American, omnipresence rather feels like choking. I wake up and live Blackness American, which is one way of saying I live with death. The refrain haunts the working, sitting, playing, driving, parking and walking hours, minutes and seconds of my day and night. I see death shrouded over little children running circles on the half court, the elders huddled together at the bus stop. This is one kind of living death in America.

There is another kind of death, sent from America to the shores and borders excluded from world-history curricula and only mentioned when it’s time to export all of America’s ills.

more here.