Blackness Part 2 - I am TROAM (An example of the stuff I really don't like writing about but when you've got to you've got to aka The Mood was With Me! MP Maximum!)

My blackness is an inevitable truth. It is present in everything. I won’t declare my pride in it, because there’s nothing to be proud of. It is my skin. I can’t remove it. It is my lips, it won’t do for them to be shrunk. It is the self that I see in my mind’s eye, I cannot unlearn it. It is the product of my experiences. I can’t unlive them.

It may look to you that there’s some shame in my black but there isn’t. In it, I see my parents, and their parents before them. In it, I see my cousins and my siblings: our squinty eyes when we smile, our not quite flat noses, and our diversity of our skin from terracotta to coffee. There is love there and as long as there is love there is beauty. The beauty there isn’t in the symmetry of our faces or the whiteness of our teeth. It is in the common representations of our ancestry. They are mine in a way that no one else is: God gifted.

My black is not yours, and you are unqualified to think otherwise. You cannot label me an immigrant because of it. You cannot say that I am like my kind. My kind is your kind, you cannot fixate on a pattern that may or may not exist. You cannot tell me that it is a privilege for me to be in England because life here is better. You’re unqualified to prophesy into my life. You do not know where I come from. You do not know where I am going. You do not know what is best or better for me.

I do not care that you mind this. I expect you to, and that too is because I am black in a way that you are not. You may attack me on the tube, or insult me without realising that you are, but those things don’t matter to me. My definition is beyond you. In this too you are unqualified. You are free to think me ugly, or angry, or poor, or lazy because of it but do not expect me to agree with you. Your mind is yours, just as mine is mine. If you do not take the time to learn that I am not a colour, a country or a continent, then there is nothing I can do about what you think of me. I do not know why it is my responsibility to change your mind. I also do not know why it is my responsibility to be the bigger man. I owe you nothing.

If you disrespect me, expect me to return it in whatever fashion I deem suitable. And know that when I do it has nothing to do with my black. It won’t be my blackness that gets angry, reports you to the police or slaps you. My black is only a colour, it has no mind of its own. In all dealings with me, there is only me.

If my melanin offends I make no apology. It has every right to be here, sing here, laugh here, dance here. I’m the head honcho of my blackness table and you can’t sit with me.

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