Earlier this week, our conversation about Light Girls segued to a conversation about colorism, which then segued to a conversation about the concept of privilege. Specifically, how certain members of the Black community are privileged more than others. Predictably, some scoffed at the notion that a Black person living in America in 2015 could be privileged in any way, citing institutional racism, police brutality and other factors that often complicate — and, occasionally, end — our existence here. While I get their consternation — it can be difficult to recognize certain benefits of being Black while a concept as elementary as #BlackLivesMatter is still seen as revolutionary — I think it's just easier for me to see privilege in Blackness because I believe, as Ta-Nehisi Coates explained on Twitter last month, that Blackness is a privilege. It is not a burden or an albatross or even just something that one of those boring-ass Black History Month lesson plan concepts like "pride" or "legacy" fully describes and encapsulates. Blackness is, for lack of a better term, fucking awesome. Yes. Fucking. Awesome.
It's fucking awesome that the hair growing out of my wife's head is loc'd but could very easily also be braided or cornrowed or twisted or curled or blown out or permed or big chopped or sewn in or laid flat. It's fucking awesome that one of the first things you see when entering my home and walking through the hallway that leads to the living room is a broom attached to a wall; the actual broom we jumped when getting married. Because the history behind broom jumping — and how, even during one of the most adverse times any group of people have ever endured, our determination to still find and express love created an improvisational relic — is fucking awesome. It's fucking awesome that Blackness is so pervasive and panoptic that Soledad O'Brien and Kevin Garnett check the same race box on the census. It's fucking awesome witnessing the multiple-choice ballet of handshakes, hugs, and pounds when two Black men greet each other, and it's even fucking awesomer taking part in it. It's fucking awesome that any list of the most influential people in the country would include Black people with names like Barack, Beyonce, Oprah, Rihanna, Lebron, and Shonda. Is fucking awesome that belonging to a Black family means you often attend family gatherings where side dishes made by great uncles and grandmothers are the star attractions. It's fucking awesome that our colloquialisms are so fucking awesome that TIME fucking Magazine actually felt the need to deconstruct "bae." It's fucking awesome watching a group of Black girlfriends talk and argue and laugh with each other and wondering how you could possibly fall in love with anyone else.
It's fucking awesome that I can easily continue but stopped myself from continuing because I don't want this 500 word long piece to stretch into 5000. Or 50,000. And this — owning and belonging to something so fucking awesome it's impossible to fully articulate the breadth of the fucking awesomeness — is a privilege