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.
It seems there are similar criterias here, specifically you must speak Somali and be Muslim. Two criterias that I can not meet. Nor do I feel that I must meet.
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.