So I am venturing on a new little journey for myself. WRITING! The skill has always kind of been there, but I have decided to turn it into a piece of what I represent as “fighter for social justice.” So to begin this new adventure, I asked myself:
What do you want to write about?
Well, that’s a loaded question. I could write about anything couldn’t I? But no, I want it to mean something. I want it to influence thought in others. The thing I loved the most about college was reading new text that made me really think about what the hell I understood in life. Call me a nerd, but it’s so exciting to learn and think about new things!
So the question, again, is what do I want to write about? To answer that question, I think it’s best to understand what my heart is calling out for. If you put a gun to my head today, I would say it would call out for all the young gay Black boys who may want to venture out into the world, but are being hindered by countless struggles in their way. It would call out to all the young queer people of colour who are living in this tough social age, where homophobia can reach them right at home online. I know I have a lot of life to live ahead of me—a life I believe I will make great change in (POSITIVE ENERGY, people!—if you don’t tell yourself you’re gonna do it, who the hell is?)—but at the stage of life I’m at now, I cannot help to acknowledge how fortunate I have been in life to get me where I am today, and that I need to do something to help others like me get to a similar point in their lives.
Young Black men make up only 2.8 percent of undergraduate students in this country—a number that is INCREDIBLY too low. The sadder reality behind that is the fact that of the little bit of the American college student population we make up, only 33.1 percent of us actually graduate. Education, I believe, is something that is deeply respected and cherished in the Black community. I do not want to suggest that we do not aspire for educational success—my writing influences Maya Angelou and James Baldwin both tell stories in their works of Black communities coming together to celebrate the achievements of Black youth in schools in a much harsher racial society than today—but I want to point out that due to various institutional hurdles, like states refusing to publicly advance the policy of affirmative action, so many of my Black brothers are not given the chance to succeed.
And when you look specifically at my younger Black brothers who identify as LGBTQ, many of our Black communities have done little to create safe spaces for them to grow into proud queer men who can be afforded the same opportunities as their heterosexual counterparts. I am proud of the Black community I come from, but it still pains me to return home and hear verbal assaults towards my character from strangers simply because of who I am. We need to dispel this, and make it safer for more Black LGBTQ youth to come out and be proud of their identity, instead of hiding with shame.
Since working in the LGBT movement, I have felt the increasing need to address more of the marginalisations I see in our LGBTQ community, as well as marginalisations and injustices within our greater American society as well. Through reading a lot of influential Black authors over the past seven months, I have become empowered to use my voice as a tool for organisation here on the public screen. My vision is to always write what my heart is feeling—they may not have the exact same thought behind it, but it will always advance my motto of being a “fighter for social justice.” I’m lucky to have done quite a bit of extensive travelling abroad, living and working on three different continents, and it has been through these experiences that I have learned storytelling to be the most effective ways of evoking thought and conversation, so many of my posts will feature parts of my life that have shaped my thought on an issue.
At the end of the day, I just want change.
I want my voice to join the many other influential young Black writers and activists who are determined as I am to help create change in the society we live. You may not agree with everything I have to say, but I hope you can respect my opinions and engage in conversation with others who may differ from you—we may not change our stances, but life has taught me that there is always something to learn from someone, regardless of who they are.
So join me on this new adventure. It’s summer, so these streets is gonna be hot for a little while longer—I’m sure there will be something out there that will inspire me to write some more. And yes, that may just mean Beyoncé slayed my life at her upcoming On the Run tour! Whatever it is, please help me in sharing this for others to read. Let’s start a conversation! If you’re not already, follow me on twitter where I serve a daily dose of professional/activist realness with a lot of classy social commentary! And if anything else, don’t forget to smile!
LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN! =]