Ode to Black Joy: Coping in the Midst of F-ckboys
Folks. Black folks. Brown folks. Feeling on the ground folks. Hug each other. Spread some love. Somebody needs it today. Even if you don't feel it, watching terrorism unfold and seeing black bodies lying in the street on a daily basis is taking its toll. It's meant to take its toll. Yell. Scream. Cry. Punch the wall (but be careful if you're uninsured).
Engage in some healing. Do something black. Something unapologetically black. Read some Baldwin. Listen to some Nina Simone. Make some drapes out of that leftover mud cloth. Plan a fish fry (but don't let Sister Odell cook because she put too much sage in the dressing last time). Find the raunchiest 2 Live Crew song you can find and twerk until you can't sweat anymore. Call your great aunt and ask her to tell you that story about that 1956 camp meeting in Como, Mississippi. Go to the creek and wade in the damn water for old times sake.
Go to the beauty shop and ask for that French roll with finger waves in the front and ring curls on the left. Ask for extra long fingernails with acrylic overlay and red, black, and green rhinestones in the shape Marcus Garvey's face. Make some skillet cornbread and some collard greens, then lay your head on the pillow and listen to the sweet sounds of Gil Scott Heron. Paint portraits of Donnie Hathaway while wearing a Million Woman March t-shirt. Remind people that you know why the caged bird sings and what it sounds like when doves cry.
Don't code switch at work today. Watch your coworkers try to figure out what you meant when you replied "I got five on it" regarding the end of year potluck. Play Maya Angelou's calypso album loudly in your cubicle. End all company memos with an Audre Lorde quote. Put your full name in the signature. No, not Deon. But De'Ontavius. Take an extended break today. When you return and they asked what took you so long, reply "I was out there trying to trace my steps back to the place where you had me f-cked up."
Then continue living. Fight the good fight, but take care of yourself. Help someone else remember how to live. As you're dismantling, don't forget to keep building.