Hope & The 'Black' Frontier

'I wish I may, I wish I might be the change I wish tonight.'

~Qoute Artist Carol Rashawnna Williams

Healing? What does that truly mean in the context of African American identity in the United States of America? How does one heal the entire frontier of centuries of compounded 'blackness' and pain in one generation? Is it truly about financial reporations or academic health? Can these injuries be healed in a capitalist society when the society has been built upon black people being used as a resource, extracted and commodified by a perpetuated propaganda of 'isms?'

Recently, I have come to recognize that addressing relationship issues takes both people deeply understanding their historical traumas and that it is difficult for me to enter into any partnership unless each person recognizes that its about healing our collective ancestral pain and we must work 'together as true partners' without hidden delusions of that pain, towards a path of enlightenment, patience and kindness together with the main goal, to heal each other, which by any feat is a tall order for most men in America, let alone black men specifically. Because, this culture teaches all men to hide their pain, stuff it down, drink it away and systematically erase themselves. It teaches women that we don't need them in order to strike out on our own and that we are worthy of so much more. I desire someone who sees me, sees my worth and treats me as such. Someone who actually believes me when I say 'I love you.' That knows in their heart I truly do, instead of trying to make me prove that I do, only because they can not see their own worth.

What would this take? How could one go about healing in a culture that celebrates coupling up with white women/men to gain power, acceptance, and categorically erasing one's own culture by skin depletion, cultural devastation, and exalted whiteness? Please, don't get me wrong, I stand for those who are bi-racial, and those who entered into contracts with those, not of their own heritage/ethnic group, but I ask this question because even those born of bi-racial parents have suffered such a huge loss of their 'blackness' not even recognizing it. Once blackness enters into contracts with the other more and more of that identity is lost along with the many traditions and beliefs. I have no idea if this is good or bad. I make no assumptions or judgments only pose the question.

Is it possible for all involved to build better cultures together? I have seen it happen.

I have been witness to what can happen when both partners are 'woke.' But the majority are not. On both sides of the spectrum. In this case, where do we go from here? When the black community is and has been spread across the globe like seeds in a field, mixed and blended with grass, poppies, dandelions, clovers, and whatever else remains in a field cut down by racism, what else remains? Under constant attack to perform, to prove ourselves? I am so tired of jumping through hoops both in the workplace and in my relationships having to prove that I deserve those grants, that love, or that gesture of kindness. I am exhausted and feel depleted of my worth and just desire space to reflect, to heal, to contemplate my self-worth. I just want to play and forget that I am American sometimes. But deep down I know that all systems are the same and that no matter where I go there is no true escape. So, I've decided to run to myself, love myself and leave the rest behind.

Both of my children are of white descent and I lost both of them to a system that had no understanding of who and where I came from. I lost both of them because I knew not where I came from, until now. It took many decades for me to find not only myself but my blackness, in a sea of 'whiteness,' even tho part of my life was spent in a black community. Honestly, I hate these two terms, as they pit us against one another; blackness vs whiteness, but I am the product of my era, and in order to be able to discuss such mainstream topics, my feeling is that I must use the terminology that most folks understand. The whitewashing of African Americans, and our communities over decades, no centuries, is no little thing. It is no little process like washing your clothes or cleaning a window. It is no small feat to erase one's belief in self and I liken it to Stockholms Syndrome. Here is the definition according to Wikipedia; a condition in which hostages develop a psychological bond with their captors during captivity.[1] Stockholm Syndrome results from a rather specific set of circumstances, namely the power imbalances contained in hostage-taking, kidnapping, and abusive relationships. Emotional bonds may be formed between captors and captives, during intimate time together, but these are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. Stockholm syndrome is paradoxical because the sympathetic sentiments that captives feel towards their captors are the opposite of the fear and disdain which an onlooker might feel towards the captors.

There are four key components that characterize Stockholm syndrome:

  • A hostage's development of positive feelings towards the captor

  • No previous relationship between hostage and captor

  • A refusal by hostages to cooperate with police forces and other government authorities

  • A hostage's belief in the humanity of the captor, ceasing to perceive them as a threat when the victim holds the same values as the aggressor.[8]

At the start of African American slavery, this must have been what slaves endured. Over time the circumstances transformed but never disappeared, only evolved into a systemic industrial circumstance that found ways to perpetuate its own existence.