Melanin & feeds

About Black sages and their voices.

art by @dammit_wesley

I have no words for our age; no solace for the outrage — very few people do. Only black voices can make sense of the zeitgeist; they remind us that the burden of the American Original Sin persists, despite 1968, MLK, Black History Month, and many other gestures of appeasement that these days ring hollow and empty…

It’s because of this lack of words that this story will account for some of the black voices that’ve popped into my social media feeds these days. The first black artist culled from my social media and put into this story will be 2Pac. These days hits all the right notes —

To tell the myth of 2Pac without mentioning his mother, would be a storytelling crime as high as any —

A decade before the sprang forth from Afeni’s struggles, Stokely Carmichael articulated the conditions from which 2Pac emerged, the circumstances that people of color face daily; he crystalised the term we know as . We cannot begin to make sense for this concept without navigating the perilous and bloody legacy of


Because of poetry, translation, & social media, Ángelamaría Dávila — afropuertorrican poet — sang in English. Her voice, which has been a beacon of empowerment for black Puerto Rican women for decades, was translated by Sabrina Ramos Rubén:

her voice, in Spanish

These artists are by no means the only ones i’ve come across. This story will only be the first one of several. I’ll update my content with more voices — the wellspring of Black culture is rich, bountiful, and unavoidable. For the time being, I can rely on my feeds — my social media avatars, as much as we love to hate them—as important sources of empowerment and growth.

I hope this story — and the ones that’ll emerge from my future social media engagement — encourages people of color, and melanin challenged brothers and sisters, to listen to ignored sages and cassandras that have always been there.

SP & EN | poetry | society | teaching | science | tech

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