“Black is not our color, it’s our core. It’s what we been living and fighting and dying for.”
That line from Smokey Robinson’s poem on being a Black American pretty much sums up what I feel Black is.
Thinking about what I’ve studied during college and minoring in Black Studies makes me so supremely grateful for my ancestors who came before me, and I’m so fortunate to have been exposed to my history. Once you make it through the phases of learning about Black history, between the rage and shock and amazement, there’s an enormity and importance that’s felt. A feeling that you’re doing your ancestors a disservice by not exceeding your potential.
Or at least that’s how I felt.
Black is… everything. To put it shortly. I say this because when I think about what Black history and culture have done and are still doing to this country and the world, so many millions of words rush to and fill my frontal lobe. So much so that instead of drawing a blank, I’m drawing a beautiful black billowy cloud.
This isn’t the kind of cloud you’re accustomed to seeing in the sky during a storm, though.
This is a cloud that’s so enormous and inviting and loving that you have no choice BUT to let it envelop you. It’s a cloud that communicates to you how majestic and noble real blackness is, comforting you with the love that black women feel while raising their families, and securing you with the strength that black men exude in protecting them. For a second, you wonder how these people could have made it through what can easily be described as utter hell, but the cloud reminds you that the likes of Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and a countless number of nameless others have fostered endurance and unity and resilience through their sacrifice.
The greater truth is that what they’ve fostered is something that can be traced back further than any of our memories, but continues to live on in what is Black today.
Because of that, I’m so thankful for our core.