(De)plantation

There is something unique to being Black in America, there is something unique to being of the Diaspora (outside of the U.S).

And we must acknowledge that we, as Black folks who ended up in the U.S., have a particular bittersweet privilege and unique lens to our lives.

And we mustn’t forget that this land isn’t anyone’s except the indigenous peoples who were here prior to European colonizers. However they received that land is not our burden, but we must acknowledge their existence.

And by colonizers, I mean everything that comes with that name. Ancestrally and in future.

I say all of this as driving through Chinatown. Thinking that most came as immigrants (forcibly or voluntarily), and how there’s some but little disruption to Chinatown when compared with other communities of colors; especially the Black community. Knowing that Chinatown’s real estate is owned by its own community who intentionally maintains this necessary space for old & new to continue their heritage.

Chinatown, NYC

And then I think about Harlem, and its rapid gentrification. And I think about the South Bronx, Bed-Stuy, East NY in the same. And I think about the falsehood of America that is coined & sold to the masses.

I remember in my postcolonial class I emphasized that for my people, old & new, there has never existed an “American dream”. That we must always consistently move, migrant, shift dependent upon what capitalism prefers to happen to us. It’s hard when you have no roots, and when you try to grow some they are continuously (and violently) pulled up.

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