Black-Eyed Susans

“Sometimes we call each other Sis or Queen to pretty up our predicament. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’ll take a lot more than terms of endearment to stop cordoning off black womanhood into sections marked upwardly mobile and ‘hood. “

Photo By Una-Kariim Cross
This is also a mirror image.

At some point we have to move beyond the intraracial identity crisis, lest we spend another 50 years spinning our post-Civil Rights wheels.

Confused yet? I was, too, until I went to Ghana.


Photo By Una-Kariim Cross
This is not a singing group.

How is that woman waving up at the Justice Center window any different from me?

We are separated by dumb luck.

We are separated by my fluency in middle-class culture.

We are separated by her lack of access to or her refusal to conform to that culture.

Four hundred years ago, we would have been in the same boat. Literally.

I like to think we would have spent those months of hellish travel trying to figure out a way to save ourselves. We would have pooled our resources and our experiences to create a way out of a painful and humiliating mess.

When did the gulf between the bus stop and the driver’s seat, between the stoop and the stroller, from one end of the velvet rope to the other become more vast than the Atlantic?


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