Shore to Shore: Exploring our Personal Black History
ONE WORD: RADICAL
In one word, RADICAL! My Blackness is a mash-up of Afro-Caribbean and East African roots. A playlist somewhere between Mulatu Astatke, Super Cat, and Neighborhood Nip (Slausonnnnnn).
It’s ackee and saltfish, eskista (Ethiopian dance) with a side of Injera, but also Sundays in Leimert Park. My Blackness could never be never be boxed in.
I grew up in a household of immigrant parents, mom from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and pops from Kingston, Jamaica (cue air horn sound), all against the backdrop of palm trees in sunny Los Angeles.
My Blackness is multi-dimensional, colorful, complex, and oh-so regal—I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s informed my identity, creativity, and work ethic. I’ve inherited my parents’ immigrant hustle, which has inspired my ingenuity, resourcefulness, and grit, but also my global perspective. I always knew far reaches of me existed throughout this planet and therefore informed my stance and embrace of the world around me. Blackness is not just a body, it’s a mindset. My blackness is my competitive edge. In the words of my father, “Big up yaself.”
How do you define yourself when there is no one definition for who you are?
There is No One Definition
By Mary Anne Bishop
Black and Privileged
By Emmanuela GiniKa Ebunilo