(Part 2) The Right to Mourn… The Black Aesthetic of Generation Z

Hi there!

Happy you are here and of course welcome (back) to the pink room. Grab a seat, get comfortable… we might be here for a little while.

Okay friends we are diving right in. If you haven’t already please first read part one of this post introducing you to the content of today’s chat. Wait like actually… read the first post.

And now without further ado…

The Right to Mourn, Despair and Destroy the World or Ourselves: The Black Aesthetic of Generation Z

I am human.

That’s the first thing you need to know about me.

I am human. I am human. I am human. Human. Human. I am human. I am human and I can’t always write or be so that you won’t destroy me. I am human and you are bloodthirsty

Do you get it, yet?

Do you understand me when I say I am human no matter if you use my mourning for your benefit? I am human if you don’t understand my grief. Human in a world of pyromaniacs. I am human, do you hear me? I am human. I can’t prove it. I can only live it.

I am human and a part of a new generation of art makers who are reclaiming our right to grieve.

We can only live. We don’t truly even have control over our death. It happens when it wants. Even when we try to speed up its time. A phrase that has haunted me from the first time I heard it is, “an animal will chew off its own foot to get free.I don’t know who said that.

But it haunts me.

Haunts me even in my sleep. I can’t stop writing about it. As if it enchanted me. It rocks me to my core. Because. Well because it’s true. Did you know they used to think (well the police and local vigilantes still seem to) that Black bodies were indestructible? Like vampires or more likely an unnamed black beast. Well, Black youth from the cities to the suburbs have been on a mission to prove them wrong. The crisis of black youth suicide I heard it said once before. What’s worse is their death. Death in defiance of indestructibility. Doesn’t seem to have an audience bigger than the pavement and indifferent trees.

Has anyone ever told you that anger is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die? Maybe that’s true. But have you ever wondered if sometimes drinking poison and letting your body rot is revenge in its own right? Have you ever been so tired of fighting that you just stop? Not because it will save you but because it’s easier. Because you don’t want to. Who said Black always needed to be strong?

An animal will chew off its own foot to get free.

In a world that kills you if you are smart or dumb, rich or poor, strong or weak, brave or cowardly, sometimes all you want to do is grieve. Maybe it’s not sustainable. Maybe the world will use it as an excuse to kill you. But being strong and even living can be exhausting. Our mothers held us not in the eye of the storm but in the grasp of the strong overpowering winds. They forged themselves like rocks. They cried alone in their rooms but only for 45 minutes every night. They willed themselves to breathe even if they themselves never got the benefit of its life-healing properties. They willed themselves to be so that we could be. And we have tried to honor them. To honor their strength.

But I am human.

I know they lived for me. I know they laughed as a stopgap for tears. But I want to grieve. Until the world stops. I want to wail until I lose my life.

Do you understand now?

An animal will chew off its own foot to get free.

The joke is on them. Them who made me afraid. Them who made my daddy rage. Them who made my mommy addicted to laughter and allergic to tears. Them who made my sister run. Them who made my brother tired.

The joke is on them.

I refuse to be strong. Call it what you must. But remember it was you who condemned me to fear. I never asked to be strong. I never asked to go on. I am human. And all I want to do is cry.

Until the world or I stop.

I am tired.


Panic attacks have laid siege to the last of my sleep. And I am a member of a world set on killing me.

But the joke is on them. Do you get it yet? Do you understand me? Don’t you see?

An animal will chew off its own foot to get free.

I am a member of a generation of artists whose flame has been dulled to dust. Only soot and charcoal are left. I am a member of a generation of the ugly, the ashamed, and the afraid. I am a member of a generation of artists who fell in love with their pain because love seemed better than hate.

Do you get it? I am human and I am tired. And no matter how much I write I can’t make the pain stop.

I am human and I am tired of making art.

Welcome to the generation of Black artists who wished they could stop. Welcome to the artists who thought beauty could cure terror. Who thought beauty could overcome rage. Who thought beauty could hide grief.

Welcome to the artists who were wrong.

Welcome to the artists who are human. Welcome to the artists too human to prove you wrong.

Welcome to the Black aesthetic of Generation Z

Alright friends… that’s all from me for now. Hope to see you again in the pink room real soon.

Till then!

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