Brothas, how y’all doing? Sistas, y’all aight?
The numbers are stark, but they aren’t surprising. Black people are dying disproportionately from novel coronavirus related illnesses. Never since our arrival on the American continent have people of African descent had equitable access to healthcare, nutritious food, sufficient housing or education. So this “news” is not exactly news, even though the NY Times, LA Times, and Chicago Tribune have all written about it.
Why, then, is now a good time to be black?
Black people are hilarious. Adversity is the breeding ground for comedy gold, and black folks have not skipped a beat. Miss. Rona had a nickname faster than Donald Trump could tweet out some incoherent foolishness.
Black creatives are magic. Our artists now have our more focused attention, and we are loving it. Have y’all heard PARTYNEXTDOOR’s new album? Good to hear from Rihanna after three years! Have you partied with D-Nice yet? Crazy how he’s partnering with Michelle Obama now. Erykah Badu’s online IG concerts are also making waves. How about some of our local artists, like DJ Brimm out of Long Beach, CA spinning regularly @djbrimm? Want to dance? Check out @NotAnother90sParty monthly, curated by journalist @kevitoclark.
We are resilient. Black people from throughout the African diaspora have experienced the trauma of colonialism and continue to combat a wide range of socioeconomic disadvantages globally. This ain’t our first time trying to make ends meet. Yet, we have seen time and again that we can and do excel despite adversity. Resilience is a muscle that requires exercise, and at this point we are elite bodybuilders. We’ve seen our favorite restaurants quickly adapt to delivering meal kits (check out Chef Kyndra) and Black Everywhere is proud to be partnering with local entrepreneurs to offer everything from dance classes to economic empowerment workshops.
It’s always a good time to be black. As the sea of black and brown people head into their “essential” jobs during this crazy time, it is abundantly clear who is doing the hard work in this country. Jails, filled with melanated people, are ground zero for infectious disease. Still, what we also see are black families laughing and playing together, Tic Toc videos of agile brown bodies celebrating movement, and the spirit of being defiantly black and joyful in the face of chaos.
Yes, black people are dying. We are also living big, bold, beautiful, unapologetic lives.