A black man stands in a crowd and begins to feel wings bursting through his back. Piercing and painful, but they cannot retract. The crowd of black folks pushes and pulls. They ebb and flow with elation and anger. These wings require space and have a mind of their own. The man feels strengthened enough to push the crowd back for the space to spread his wings. Only with this space can he fly.
He clings to the memory of family embrace and warm laughter from years past. These serve as communities of thought and history. How capable would you believe a man to be with wings? Capable of flying at the very least and touched by God at the best.
Can space create room for flight in every black spirit. If capabilities are limited and distractions are many , what hope does a man have in understanding there are even wings behind him.
What does it look like for black people to spread out? Giving space for flight. Giving space to know one’s self. What if the universe told you that all black folks could fly; not while holding hands, but only by joining wings.
We understand power in numbers, but what if there is insurmountable power in a deeper knowledge of one’s true singular power? Here we are a collective; after years of massive protest, blood on leaves, and unaccounted trauma that goes back centuries. A collective of strong-willed survivors with idiosyncrasies akin to no original owner. Is the journey to a black soul’s center found anywhere other than inside one’s self?
Imagine the focus and precision we all can thrive with under a capitalist regime separate from medical intervention , daily psychological assaults , and societal threats of murder. Imagine being so in line with one’s true power that one understands there are no limits. That one can avoid the many pitfalls. The only limit is the refusal to fly. How do we make space to fly?
We see many among us with sparks of genius left to lend their power to the community in charity but seldom exalted to teach the community to fly. Is this the fundamental difference between the leaders of the civil rights era and the community activists of today? In years past, we have seen this genius in our brothers and sisters as a call to leadership that was respected by and large. Previous genius and charisma lent itself to bringing black people together in hopes that somehow together we would achieve liberation.
Has the genius spark of today been traded in for capitalist gain, or has the message become very clear that there is agency inside our bodies separate from collective gathering? Power to stand boldly to the republic alone and survive. Do we believe that Blackness can exist under any circumstance and in any form without validation from community?
Take time to ponder on how safe we feel alone and what it takes for each spirit to feel safe in the universe. How does a community committed to gang cultures, group dynamics, cliques, and collective protest understand the power of the individual self? What does the world look like if each spirit inside a black body was liberated without a need for solidarity? Think of solidarity becoming a safe space kin to family gatherings; no longer a battleground for everyday existence.
Jamie Freya Knott