The space of Blackness represents safety because this is where everyone can finally belong. The clumsy fantasy of Whiteness has finally been moved off the stage and back into the audience after being muted for taking up too much space.
People who previously believed they weren’t Black because they never believed Black to be synonymous with “human’’ unlearn their antiblackness, upend the clumsy possum of their proxy privilege, back away from the hot trash of color-blind rhetoric and stop talking about the impossibility of walking a mile in the shoes of others. No one apologizes for being Black because Being Black is more of a “you’re welcome” situation.
We are finally allowed to make mistakes and express our emotions and be as mediocre as we can allow ourselves to be. After 8 generations, we have forgotten the ways we now call “dominant” and make space for loving ourselves for no reason.
Copyright © 2021 by Natasha Marin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 30, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.