And just like Beloved re-entered Sethe’s life when Paul D. brought Sethe’s past with him to Sethe’s doorstep, every time Black Americans see an act of race-based violence in the news, our own ancestral ghosts appear.
But the minute we learn of what we have gotten wrong, we can begin to course-correct and increase our chances of getting it right at the next available opportunity.
The fear and apprehension around the topic of racism is so palpable that it’s no wonder we often shrink back from discussing it, let alone working actively toward eradicating it.
America – our country, our home – needs a Reconstruction of both policy and ideology.
Did racist, partisan politicians who saw in Fisher an ideal candidate to be the face of their campaign wage a war of rhetoric?
Could the purpose of telling so selective a version of Greenwood’s story be to erase its real history?
In recent years, amid unrest and uprisings to draw attention to the plight of Black Americans because of systemically racist policies, many folks have built on Chisholm’s sentiment by amending it and stating, “If they won’t give you a seat at the table, build your own.”
Whatever our names or honorifics are, those we are given and those we earn, they belong to each of us as individuals. People who wish to interact and engage with us and do not respect us enough to pay us the basic courtesy of referring to us directly using the terms we’ve told them we prefer, have not earned the right to have an audience with us.
If I stretch my imagination, I can even see children being welcomed by Jesus as a representation of what I’ve witnessed with my sons: little children will always look for water – for routine, for security, for connection, for life.
I cannot articulate a specific moment when I first became aware of green books or sundown towns. Rather, for as long as I can remember, I’ve lived with the awareness that in our nation’s past, there were places and times of day when Black people were unwelcome.