"but was that really murder, though?" "was that really assault?"
June 10, 2015 11:19 AM   Subscribe

This is hard, this divided attention. But it isn't just an emotional and intellectual focus divided by half. This is no mere doubled consciousness. Race in this country, with each successive generation, with every historical echo, and for all our technological advancement, has become a prism. This new racial prism — this 24-hour access to every horrible, three-dimensional detail of black trauma, requires constant, multiplicitous division. I can anticipate occasional euphoria, but I will always do so with the understanding that injustice will disrupt my joy. That is its own kind of violence, a forced splintering of identity, intellect, and emotion.
On the second day of her successfully crowdfunded trip to the THREAD at Yale program, stacia l. brown wrote an essay on race, consciousness, and black trauma in America as viewed through The Racial Prism.

In addition to her career as a freelance writer par excellence, Ms. Brown is also the founder of Beyond Baby Mamas, an online community dedicated to issues specific to single mothers of color. She can be found on Twitter at @slb79; the FPP title was taken from one of her Tweets.
posted by divined by radio (7 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
That was excellent. Thank you for sharing. (And also I found an amazing new WOC to follow on the Twitters! Yay!)
posted by Kitteh at 11:30 AM on June 10, 2015

"That's not how I see it."

Wow. This is a great post, thanks for sharing it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:58 AM on June 10, 2015

So good. Thank you.
posted by rtha at 12:21 PM on June 10, 2015

What a great piece - Thank you.
posted by Ausamor at 2:00 PM on June 10, 2015

I don't have anything to add, but that is a powerful piece of writing. Thank you.
posted by invokeuse at 2:06 PM on June 10, 2015

I shared it on Facebook, to help fulfill her hope.
posted by figment of my conation at 2:32 PM on June 10, 2015

The private joy must make room for quiet mourning, the mourning for performing public joy.


And I nearly teared up while reading this piece, because all of it is true. Every time something happens, I find myself clinging to my Black friends, and them to me. Every time.

When reports about Kalief came out, one of my friends said that it felt like she was always in mourning, that to be Black was to perpetually wear a black veil. Another friend of mine argues that Blackness is the ultimate goth identity because of its deeply-rooted, intimate historical and cultural relationship with death. Both use the constant stream of news as examples of the ways Black people are forced to constantly deal with their disposability and disenfranchisement, even when evidence of neither are readily apparent in a personal context.

I'd be in favor of using her terminology, honestly. The era of double-consciousness is over. What we deal with now is a much more insistent, duplicitous pressure. And however selfish it might be, I really hope that she is able to find the strength and healing to continue her studies; we desperately need more Black academics like her.
posted by Ashen at 2:38 PM on June 10, 2015 [9 favorites]

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