Conceived, Born, Raised and Living Black
By Daphne Muse
I was conceived, born, raised and now have lived as a human being cast in black for almost seventy years. I’mo die black, too. And in my next life, I’ll be honored to return in the black. I refuse to be drowned in the bile of oppression and no racist savagery, pathology or steroids of genocide will stop me from living the authenticity of who I am. Be clear that efforts to kill off an entire race of people are bound to implode, as our blood spills all over you and the spirits of our ancestors (and some of yours, too) haunt you in ways you don’t even realize. The ongoing slaughter, murder and economic lynching of my people will not make me turn against them or stop me from seeking and working to secure the freedom that is inherent for every being. You can kill a person, but the energy of their spirit sometimes has a way of recharging life. Mine is constantly recharged by those whose spirits continue to rise in power including anti-lynching activist and journalist Delilah Beasley; Mississippi voting and civil rights activists Fannie Lou Hamer; and, Dred Scott, buried a few miles up the road from Ferguson in St. Louis. Scott launched a legal battle to gain his freedom that went all the way up to the Supreme Court (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dred_Scott_v._Sandford).
Despite the high toll and centuries of efforts to resurrect Apartheid and annihilate us, the ongoing slaughter in the streets is not deterring people like the residents of Ferguson, and their supporters across the country and around the world including St. Louis native and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. He is right up in the mix protesting the killing of unarmed Michael Brown. I refuse to allow the hatred of my people to diminish the love I have for my often brutalized and brilliant people. Our DNA is historically, culturally, politically and economically encoded on this country. From rural roads to outer space, our innovations and inventions also drive many aspects of everyone’s daily life.
If we’re being punished for the election of the first known black/mixed race president and the appointment of a black attorney general, then wake up and smell the Melanin, because millions of us refuse to be pushed backwards off the cliffs into the swells of oppression and racism. While bold face, refutable lies continue to twists your tongues into contortions of sheer absurdity, ongoing efforts to revise or erase us from history continue to implode: Truth has both an ironic and empirical way of blooming through concrete; and destroying documents, eradicating images and attempts to vanish reality can have powerful blow back. We’re also issuing a cease and desist for your racism to remain a revenue stream for municipalities, jails and penitentiaries; that’s off the table.
Millions of us continue working diligently to seed and harvest the awe and wonder of young people of color, for we recognize how much more vital our country would be, as a result of the benefit of the brilliance and creativity many of them bring to the table. I will continue to working with others to educate and empower young black men and women to earn diplomas and advanced degrees, so they can become skilled workers, 21st century innovators, strong leaders and even surgeons who skillfully navigate beyond the craters of hatred embedded in the souls of racists to save their lives. And there are those highly skilled social justice “surgeons” conducting hatred bypasses on a daily basis, an operation that could vastly improve the quality of millions in America. Even in the dust of my ashes, like millions before me, I’ll proudly align my legacy to stand tall in the power of blackness.
Daphne Muse is a writer, social commentator and the oldest sibling to four brothers. While navigating the mine fields of racism and oppression, they also have lived and celebrated the joy(s), power and brilliance of being black.
Copyright October 2014, Oakland, California