For Tamir, Who Was Stolen.

Today is Tamir Rice’s birthday.
He was real. He is real.
He was human.
Read this piece.
Be human.

Stacia L. Brown

Photo: Fox8.com Photo: Fox8.com

The first thing I am pocketing is your name. Tamir, like something uttered in prayer. We will all be saying it so much in the days to come, it will sound like a chorus of hushes in a holy place, a sacrifice, not of praise but of sorrow. I am drawing it close to me now, listening to the sound of it on my lips first, before all our commentary turns you into a cause, foreign and distant.

I’ve become adept at this, arriving at the scene early, committing key details to memory. After I turned your name — Tamir — over on my tongue, I Googled it. It means tall or owner of dates or palm tree or wealthy. Your father says you were, in fact, tall for your age. You were, in fact, wealthy in the ways that wind up mattering: of spirit, of intellect…

View original post 869 more words

Head Against Wall: Notes on Loneliness, Immorality, and Despair

The loneliness comes from despair and not having anyone share that despair. It is in the despair–over the cruelty of a communal life lived without justice, without morals, without substance; all of which strips life of meaning–that I feel so alone.

It’s incredibly difficult to share depression with anyone. People don’t want to hear it. It’s too burdensome; there is no acceptable way to express that despair. People do not want to be honest with each other, except in the most exceptional of relationships. Our social structure is based on superficiality and ignorance of self and others. This is a terrible environment in which to be human.

And I guess this is why people write, why I write–because it is a form of communication free from the conventional rules of social etiquette. Writing allows me to escape the bonds of social conformity, to bypass the borders that keep me from communicating what I need to communicate–anguish.

It is anguish to live daily in a society that is based on economic expediency, where economic relationships supersede all others. This is a profoundly inhuman way to live, with the necessities of human beings subordinated to economics. The immorality of such a system is self-evident, which makes existing inside of it so agonizing. The system is sacrosanct. It cannot be deconstructed, because to dismantle the system means the disintegration of the environment–not the natural environment, but the economic and social environment that supports all the biological functions of the human animal, but none of the intellectual and spiritual functions. The environment is a base materialism, an ethic of consumption.

An Open Letter of Love to Black Students

I love this. I learned from it. I’m saddened by it. I’m strengthened by it.

Black Space

IMG_5465 Black students and professors, Beaumont Tower, Michigan State University, December 6, 2014. photo by Darryl Quinton Evans

We are Black professors.

We are daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, godchildren, grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, and mothers.

We’re writing to tell you we see you and hear you.

We know the stories of dolls hanging by nooses, nigger written on dry erase boards and walls, stories of nigger said casually at parties by White students too drunk to know their own names but who know their place well enough to know nothing will happen if they call you out your name, stories of nigger said stone sober, stories of them calling you nigger using every other word except what they really mean to call you, stories of you having to explain your experience in classrooms—your language, your dress, your hair, your music, your skin—yourself, of you having to fight for all…

View original post 4,126 more words