I thought again about this post on my Tumblr. The idea of some people’s “blackness” as “reactionary” and therefore “actually anti-‘black'” came up.
Beyond blogging politically and denouncing whiteness and its constituents as social ills and oppression, where does my identity as a Black womyn live?
It doesn’t live online, especially not on tumblr. Its not something I share with other people, not even the Black ones. It’s a part of myself that I don’t feel I have to share. It is a spiritual state of being that must be protected because it is constantly threatened and under attack both by agents of oppression and the people of my own race and creed who assist these agents with their own ignorance, recklessness, and privilege. Many times people have looked me in the face and called me as an old soul. Even old souls get weary and need to be protected sometimes.
I live beyond white supremacy spiritually and, to an extent, mentally. But I inhabit too many oppressed circles, so to speak, to claim I live some kind of fairytale life unaffected by white supremacy and the people who choose to act as its lapdogs.
Some call it progress, some call it “getting over the past”. Some call it “racism/oppression is dead”. I call it “New Age blackness” because I can’t think of anything else to call it.
What defines New Age blackness?:
- the hyperinvisibility of whiteness, the depth of its reach, and the depth of its effects on the minds of People of Color/Black people
- the idea that class privilege, colorism/shadeism, body privilege, heterosexism, and misogyny don’t effect intra-racial interactions; and the idea that those effects are unrelated to a white-dominated society and worldview
- new generations of PoC defending white supremacy for social and material gain
- the abandonment of legacy and heritage
- justifying your willful assimilation and ignoring it as choice
What is “New Age blackness”, in a phrase?:
People are finding new ways of assimilating under “Black faces, white masks” and they don’t see it. Its a thing and people don’t realize it.
One day, it won’t matter that I’m Black. And it won’t be because whiteness has been vanquished, or we all achieved some kind of “visible, authentic Blackness” beyond reaction and whiteness, or we fought the good fight and won.
All the white people will be black and all the Black people will be ghosts, to tentatively borrow from Sherman Alexie.
This post gives you insight into the hopelessness I feel reading posts from young Black people on tumblr.
looking for the silver lining, the end not in sight,
[An Aside: I’m from a bible belt state, born and raised, so many of the Black people I know and knew of were Christian. I do not identify as Christian. In that environment, even as my identity as spiritual Black person was nurtured, it was also put down as too pagan-ish/not Christian enough to Christian Black folks. There’s an argument for Africanized Christianity but I know that Christianity as it is practiced in the places that I’ve been and experienced is not the spirituality I feel to be real in my soul. Powerful and influential…but not for me. Power and influence doesn’t make it right.]