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  • Writer's pictureChristie A. Cruise, PhD


This fight to end white supremacy and oppression, in all its ugly forms, is not new to Blacks in the United States of America. This is a struggle we know all too well in this country, since 1619 when our first ancestors arrived as slaves in Virginia. Yes, we have come a long way, but as the Negro spiritual, Lift Every Voice and Sing, reminds us, "We have come over a way that with tears has been watered. We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered." This fight is one we did not start, but it is one we (and our allies) plan to finish!

These photographs remind me of who I am as a Black person, as a Black woman. I am strength. I am power. I am the dream of my ancestors. I shall not be moved! And, this is my ode to Blackness.

Photographed by: Christie A. Cruise

MY BLACK IS...beautiful! It is artful and poetic. It is more beautiful than the Mona Lisa, more astonishing than the statue of David. It is Maya and Audre. It is Zora and Toni.

MY BLACK IS...the firmament! It is the canvas from which the stars hang. It is vast and engulfing. It is nothing and everything.

MY BLACK IS...Black! So Black it's blue, Black. I wish a m@therf#cker would, Black. Black me, Black you, Black skin, Black. Black love, Black thought, Black sigh, Black. Black sorrow, Black tears, Black blood, Black. Blacker than the black hole, Black. So strong our pull, so strong our hold, Black.

Photographed by: Katie Wright
Photographed by: Nyara Williams

MY BLACK IS...bold! It is unapologetic. It is fearless, even in the face of Black rages on. It is resilient! It never gives never fails. It is love.

My BLACK IS...encompassing! It is the stars in the night's sky. It is stillness and patience. It is love and life...the moon and the tides. It is autumn and spring. It is the end and the beginning.

MY BLACK IS...the mother of humanity! It is Eve, Henrietta Lacks...the cause and the cure, the venom and the antidote. It is living and dying and everything in between. It is is weak.

Photographed by: Katie Wright
Photographed by: Katie Wright

MY BLACK IS...coveted! It is copied, reproduced...mimicked. It is a leads, is followed, like the North star, by those who wander.

MY BLACK! It is blues and jazz...A Love Supreme...Coltrane and Davis...Blue In Green. It is an emboldened regime...rhythm and beats, Electric Relaxation...a peaceful retreat!

MY BLACK IS...spiritual! It is mountain high and valley low. It is the Red Sea in the front and the enemy's army in behind. It has faith, it believes.

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