The Definition of US
“If I don’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive. -Audre Lorde.
Many became familiar with this quote as a line from the movie, The Best Man. I think it is great when our words are publicized and brought to light. Not everyone has access to the same information or even knows where to get it. Lack of definition can lead to “US” being defined by other people.
I know that you have heard it before, Black people don’t read, Black people are criminals, Black people steal and kill. Everything that we do is an issue. Eating Skittles, driving, riding the subway, playing with toys, moving about in our own apartments. Why is that? Why is there still so much fear?
I will tell you why I think that there is so much fear. Black Americans are the Phoenix. Every time we are knocked down, we get back up. Every time we have to start from scratch we build a taller, better place. Every time. The issue with that is that we still have no true definition of ourselves. Who are we? Half the time we can’t even agree on if we are African-American or Black. Some might ask why we need a label; it is not a label. It is a definition that needs to be finalized and never changed again. It is important because for too long, we have gone without a history, for too long we have gone without knowing where we come from for too long and that leads us to not knowing where in the hell it is we are going and that is why we have been eaten alive.
Stand for something or fall for anything. Black Lives Matter, not just when they have been taken. Black Lives Matter enough to have a distinction, enough to be defined, enough not to be fantasized about by others as to who or what we are. WE matter.
The United States will never give us the credit that we deserve. There will be no reparations, and there will be no apologies. The chains of slavery never go away they only change. Until we can put a clear distinction on who we are and stop waiting for others to give us the green light, the thumbs up, the go-ahead, the OK, the right to, the chance to, the permission to be, who we have always been then we will remain a threat, and our lives will continue not to matter.
We have the right to be wherever we want to be and to do whatever we want to do. We have the right to choose what is best for us and our families and not to let anyone tell us any different. We have the right to health, wealth and happiness. If we are invincible without definition, imagine what happens once we have one.
Who are you?