I remember when I was doing this recording, my original intent was to just talk about black as a color. I was going to discuss the greatness of black as a color, and how human perception turned blackness into an indication of evil and negativity. I started out the way I intended, but in true Reign fashion, I got distracted by my thoughts, my experiences, my reality. Now, I have to interject a disclaimer of sorts. I said some things about rape potentially suggesting that a victim’s life is less worthy of living. In context, I made that statement explaining another perspective (avoiding further spoilers). In no way do I believe that being a victim diminishes the value of a person’s life. However, I do believe that having been victimized might cause A victim to feel like death would have been a better end than having to live; to survive and try to figure out how to move forward after being victimized. End disclaimer.
On a separate note, it is no coincidence that I held this piece for this week. Its February: Black history month. What better time is there to talk about my history as a Black woman, my stories, my life. I should note that Black History is American history, and should be discussed all year round… but I will be discussing Blackness for the rest of this month. That said…
There’s something about being Black that I think I’ve always been conscious of, whether I was willing to call myself “black” notwithstanding, I still knew I was a not-white, or dark person. I don’t remember any specific experience or happenstance that said “Yes Reign, you’re Black.” There were several occasions that told me that there was something about me that was undesirable, unworthy, unattractive, unwanted, but not necessarily that my being black was a problem. That realization came much later.When people claim to not “see color,” while I understand that it might be an attempt at suggesting that they only see my humanity, it is also an assertion that they don’t acknowledge how the color of my skin affects my experience as a human.
Which brings us to the actual primary subject of this piece: how being black affects my puppy–of now 4 months–Shadow.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/245323430?secret_token=s-SEclS” params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=true&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
So yeah, the narrative is still there, the reality is still harsh, I still don’t like it… and we still have to Do More and Require Better.