"Post-Black is talking about people who are rooted
in Blackness but not constrained by it. They want to be Black.
They want to deal with the Black tradition,
and the Black community, and Black tropes. But they also
want the freedom to do other things."
Today I want to ask you, Nation, to allow me to repaint my Blackness.
I would like to go at it with shades of green instead of the blues,
to lace it with a trim of black licorice but also rice noodles
and seaweed stuffed with raw fish. Permit me to put Ray Charles
and Stevie and Aretha on hold and dance with my toes
instead of my hips.
I would like to twist my Blackness and smooth it down,
cover it with a scarf or tuck it into a baseball cap and bite
into a hot dog and cheer the loudest. I would like to open
the windows of my Blackness to scale the roof like a mountain,
hug a harness and hug a tree and hug a garden of okra
and spinach greens and asparagus
greens and, and, and.
Today I beseech you to let me be today a panther
but tomorrow a pekingese or pug. My Blackness will wrap
its arms around either in love.
I would like to add rooms for my Blackness, to let it expand
and breathe cinnamon and vanilla. I would like to bake my Blackness
into something enormous, something flaky and warm and overstuffed.
I would like to uproot my Blackness
and resoil it in the Mediterranean, or at the peak of Everest,
or free falling from an airplane into cloud soil.
I would like to give my Blackness wings and risks, let it live
a thousand years and die forty-thousand ways.
I would like to open the door to Blackness luminous,
to give it complications at breakfast and thrills
when the night sends it spiraling back into my arms.