I wanted the world to stop making me cry. Even at seven years of age, I knew the world outside the Vermont curtains were stained red in the blood of other less fortunate children. I think this knowledge produced an anxiety that has lasted my entire life. I ask myself “who am I to enjoy this life”.
I always used my Somaliness to escape from my blackness, and it was easy because Somaliness was something America didn’t understand, so it was easy to hide. I bring up blackness because that is the prism through which I knew no matter how long I live here, no matter how well I speak the language, no matter how American I am, America will always insist I’m not quite American enough.
My greatest desire has always been to belong; to a team, to a country, to a people, to a crew, to a family. Being from somewhere else has a liberating quality, it allows you to liberate yourself from the history and crimes of the place you are.
Black is a construction, which articulates a recent social-political reality of African Americans.
Black is not a racial family, an ethnic group or a super-ethnic group. Political blackness is thus not an identity but moreover a social-political consequence of a world which after colonialism and slavery existed in those color terms.