After a number of failed attempts to stick to a writing process that is challenging and liberating, I’ve settled on offering my thoughts online. This wordpress/blog/ whatever it is serves as a way for me to practice putting my thoughts, experiences and words in a space that will hold me at least somewhat more accountable than my personal journals.
I want to first offer a look at who I am as a being in the world, what my philosophy is and also what that leads me to do, think and believe. Next, I will discuss why I am deciding to write online. Finally, I will try to find out exactly what the heck it means to be ablackunbound.
First, who am I? Well, I’m not quite sure. I know that’s a bit of a let down, but let me preface the rest of this by saying my own ignorance has allowed me to recognize my own existential inadequacy. Like Socrates said, know thyself. That is something I believe folks spend their life doing, or at least that may be the case for me. Nevertheless, I can offer some of what I have learned about myself.
I am a human being historically situated within late modernity in the temperate gut of the most dominant empire in the history of the world. I am a cisgendered working class black man on intimate terms with the death, destruction and catastrophe that has been and continues to be the meaning of life for so many black people. I am anti-imperialist, antifascist, an organizer, a student, a hater of hierarchy and a lover of people and our planet. I am a small wave in a large ocean of people throughout history who have struggled for liberation across space and time. People, art and faith enable me to continue to live my life.
Next, why am I deciding to write online? Well, writing for me is a way to express who you are. It is a form of art that educates. Like bell hooks makes clear, education is the practice of freedom. I view writing as one form out of many that turns idealistic forms of Freedom into attainable, human freedom. This practice, like all educational human endeavours, is ultimately going to fall short in some ways (I doubt any of what I write will be perfect), but the writing practice itself, and the realization of our own limits, is a form of freedom in itself.
As for the online part, I feel that it provides me with a type of potential collective accountability that I don’t have with the rest of my writings that I’ve completed in my personal, physical journals. Part of that accountability is intellectual; I need to be called out by my homies (folks who read this blog + other people I love) for the incorrect/ accidentally f’d up/ ideas-that-need-some -critique stuff I say or argue. If I’m wrong, I would like to acknowledge that early in my life so that later on I’m not writing a magnum opus that, for example, completely evades or ignores a structure of domination like white supremacy or heteropatriarchy (I’m looking at you, John Rawls and A Theory of Justice!).
Part of it is also a matter of consistency; I need to write more! This point has been made clear over the last year (what I will affectionately refer to as my first period of radical political transformation) by irl friends, including but not limited to @nmisha, @FulloMe_iHim, @KIdHak__, @CHL_mode, @aseriesofpoints, @Keylin_Rivera and a host of others who aren’t on twitter. All of their politics are different, but it is that difference that I value. Each have shaped me in ways they may not quite know or understand. Writing is so dope because it is a form of liberation that people can take part in. I need to practice more, simple as that.
Finally, what is ablackunbound? The answer to this question is two-fold; the first half is answered above, and the goal is to have the rest answered in this wordpress/blog thing over time.
I am ablackunbound in the sense that I am a young black left Christian who is able and willing to speak openly about being a person who is trying to become more human; what Paulo Friere defines as “uncompleted beings conscious of their incompletion.” To take that further, I am also able to speak about my masculinity, my socially conditioned heteronormative (that I am still in the process of unlearning) thinking and my abilities in a way that is truthful about my realities without hiding my privileges and internalized oppressions. ablackunbound can’t mean the same to me as it does to you; but the assumption behind the term is that of a black person historically marginalized, politically dominated and economically adrift and yet still and always in the midst of struggles for human and universal emancipation from ALL people/institutions/systems/cultures that are a direct cause and result of Imperialist White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchal (IWSCP) domination.
Besides, it was either ablackunbound or djangoneverchained, but their are too many problems with that movie for me to name my blog after it, so there you go.
So, thats about it. Hopefully this initial post will be dope enough for future posts in this space. No promises though.