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In thinking about what blackness means in today’s “post racial” America, my intersections come to mind. So many people know you as one thing, and boy do they love to put you in that box, as if blackness is one thing. I am male, I am in my thirties, I am an artist, a singer, an actor, a dancer, and a writer. I am a son, a brother, a Christian and I am gay. My faith is very important to me no matter what some may think. In recent years I have become very outspoken in activism, both in LGBTQ rights, and my civil rights as a person of color, since the powers at be always see my color before anything else…
Blackness…it took a long time for me to really be proud of being different. Really loving the beauty and the uniqueness of being not white. I love it.
As a child I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I never hated being black, but always being the only black one everywhere I went as a child, got old…kids are cruel and different is not a good thing in the world of playgrounds and kickball teams. I guess that’s why church became so important for me as a young black kid. Of course my parents were black people with graduate degrees and white collar jobs, but your parents are never cool till you’re in your 30s and have some sense.
Church was the place I saw black lawyers, doctors, judges, millionaires etc. I saw black people excelling in every sector in my congregation. Black people could be plumbers, and janitors, and also titans of industry. It started to form a different identity for blackness to me. Blackness other than just being an “other” was successful. Something to be proud of.
These days my intersections of God, Art, Blackness, Sexuality and Activism pull me in different directions simultaneously. I love the journey, and thanks for coming with me.