Scenes from “Shades of Whitetopia”

here, look. shhh. do you see it? if you attached a scent, a sound, to it? what would it be? don’t let the question mark, the commas and periods confuse you much. this is an opportunity! there is peril and danger here. you don’t see that? the innocence? the innocuous way she stares? it starts this way, i think, i believe, i imagine. no, not every face should be a black one. no, there are not enough black faces, voices, lungs, hearts, beating atop of subway stations, of tubes. what to make of that lack? of the absence? the only color here is the sky, is the night holding this together. i am not saying that is wrong. but, i am also not saying it is right, either. i am not saying it is good, nor bad. but, it evokes in me a subtle question, a gentle but somewhat jarring siren, a silent fire. so, here we are.

what does glee look like? replace this with Solange? how do you feel now? do you want to adjust the volume, its tenor? how do you mute a tone? how do your draw a blank? do you use hands or firearms? when was the last time you smiled like this, black girl? arms of a lover, a squad car? ooooh, Calvin how i love you so. yes, take my A$AP, make him hollywood, not harlem. lick him, let him be your muse, please. fornicate on him, big black dick inside denim. they have wanted this from us since Poitier — the disembodied genitalia of a black man, exposed, but subtle, softened. not Chuck D, give me Tyson Beckford, not Mike Tyson — too much, too soon. but, this? this is perfection. one could only dream, is suppose.

white tears, white tears, what to do with the white tears, where to put them? hmmm, lemme check my pockets, my history books, my coffee shops and lattes, my banks and creditors. lemme look on linkedin and advertising agencies and at my presidents and my court rooms. lemme look at the academy and the grammys and academia and the job recruiters and the gentle way you can tell someone to get off of welfare, to find a job, to pick themselves up by the bootstraps, to pick up their pants, to stop being so angry, to not run when being shot, to not die when being shot at, to live when they want you dead. what if the dick was black? the tears, melanin? what then? so many questions. please, be everything but black, please.

close your eyes. open your eyes. where are you now? is this your home, your lunch room, your kitchen, your tv, your magazine, your water cooler, your workplace, your conversation, your dinner table, your classroom, your school, your movie theater, your prom, your church, or school bus, your train ride, your deli, your bodega, your neighborhood, your bed, your religion, your friendships, your fucking, your yoga class, your favorite restaurant, your bar, sip and draw? close your eyes again. who do you see? where are you now? open your eyes. figuratively, too.

Written by

he/him. i tell stories for black people. work: @taylorstrategy @nike @twitter @gatesfoundation @ted @hbo @ethelsclub @medium @newsweek @twloha #BXFOREVER

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store