I can’t be a revolution everywhere I go.

Diary of a Victorian Dandy 14.00 hours, 1998. Photograph: Yinka Shonibare.

Edited 14/03/19.

I feel tired. Like really tired. Like I can’t be asked to do anything but at the same time, I can’t be asked not to do anything.

I want to lie down and do fuck all. Watch shit TV. Eat shit food. Listen to shit music. I want to play crappy board games from Tiger.

Everything is moving and everyone wants you to move with it and you can’t tell them to fuck off cause that’d be rude and you’d end up with no friends.

See our lives have become about moving to everything.

My life has become about moving to everything.

I met someone who said something to me that has stayed with me since. She said, “I can’t be a revolution everywhere I go.” Whether I like it or not, my skin colour becomes a revolution the second it enters a room. A white room. Any space. Any white space.

I can’t turn it off. I am on demand. Constantly. Responding. Explaining. Justifying. Justifying. Justifying. Fighting. With everything to every white person and to every Black person that is trapped in the sunken place.

I finally understand why Colonel from Father Comes Home From the Wars said: “I am grateful every day that God made me white.” because being a Black person here is fucking exhausting.

White people know that.

I can’t make you feel comfortable. When my Blackness speaks you listen to respond, you don’t listen. You cry when my Blackness speaks. You say I’ve attacked you. Made you feel some sort of way. You don’t speak to me. You speak at me.

“When the Israelis pick up guns, or the Poles, or the Irish, or any white man in the world says, “Give me liberty or give me death,” the entire white world applauds. When a black man says exactly the same thing, word for word, he is judged a criminal and treated like one, and everything possible is done to make an example of this bad nigger so there won’t be any more like him.”

The past is the present. What was happening is happening. We are still fighting while white people speak like they’ve never had to fight. There are kids still marching. There are Black women still shouting. There are students still being the only one. Black men are still being murdered in broad daylight. Black women are still being murdered at night.

We are tired. We are tired. We are tired. We are fucking tired.

Every day is a statement. Every day is about having an endless debate with a well-meaning liberal white person who keeps saying “I don’t see colour.” and you keep saying “You don’t see me.” and they still don’t get it.

Everyday is about adjusting, manoeuvring, steering yourself so whiteness can sit comeforabtably. So white can be comfortable. So white can become comfortable.

This is exhausting.

We are tired. We are tired. We are tired. We are tired. We… I am tired.

Sometimes I just want to be. Sometimes I just want to be allowed to be. Sometimes I just want you to allow me to be. To be me.

“Sometimes we don’t have to shake the world and move the world and create anything that is going to be in the history book. The fact that we breathe and live a life... Just that means that we have a story.”