There is not much humans can own anymore. A few universal ideals remain, like time and space, but even they seem to be seized by those whose entitlement dwarfs that of the other. For the African, both displaced and continental, space and the right to govern one’s own body have been dangerously threatened for centuries. The African has been taught that their bodies, their land and the resources that belong to it are not theirs. When they move to another country, they are immigrants, and equally separated from the right to own something.
Speaking from the perspective of the African in America, we have grown to show a certain disregard for some of our environments. Over decades, our forefathers have carved out new homes for themselves, up North, out West, but there is no standard of certainty over even these spaces, tides move in and push families further and further away from any shared desired space. So what can we hold on to? Where is the certainty over our own Black bodies and Black spaces, have we grown out of the fear that our families will be separated, or do we still cower under the belief that we can be pushed out by one wayward cop or skyrocketing rental prices.
In many cases, you can see the evidence of our forgetting. Forgetting that we have rights and are just as much right to exist within our internal and external spaces as the next man, or the next descendant of anyone who came to this country, by choice.
Why have we allowed this for so long, the seizure of our land, our bodies, our spirits, our artforms, our connection to history and each other? And when do we stand up and say enough. This was a word you could hear coursing through different moments in history. Enough echoing across food counters. Enough behind bayonets and lit windows. Enough screamed out to people who look like us, but who we still find ourselves to be against.
The evidence of our forgetting runs deep. And as our neighborhoods display this nonchalance, someone sees that it is time, time when noone will stand up and fight, time when anything can be snatched from underneath us without us raising our voices, because it appears that we will continue to sit back and allow it to happen.