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Life Arts    H4'ed 2/4/21

Black Like You: Life As A Horror Movie

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Black Like You: Life As A Horror Movie

by John Kendall Hawkins

" I'm Black, they'll never let me forget it. I'm Black alright; I'll never let them forget it."

-Miles Davis, Tribute to Jack Johnson

"Don't call me n-word, whitey / Don't call me whitey, n-word."

-Sly and the Family Stone, Stand!

I try hard but fail to imagine what it would be like to wake each morning self-consciously aware that my skin color - Black - will matter most today when I make my out into the Mighty Whitey's world.

What would I do if I couldn't process away that self-consciousness, work off its karmic influence through my dreams? Fantasize it away in my sleep? Fight it as a kind of panoptic monster? Resolve it in the acid tests of reason? What would it be like to wake up each day and set about in the world knowing I'm Black, knowing that whites see first my Black -- in their looks, in the subtleties of their body language, even, as with friends, in their seeming need to show they're cool with it. With my being Black. The Black elephant in the always well-lit white room.

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John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Oceania.

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