I write this on an early Saturday morning – It is April Fools. As I sit on my bed damp, from my usually morning shower, an internal battle inside my head commences. To tell you, who every is reading this stranger or friend, the truth I have put off this exact moment for almost two years. To write to you. I have something to say. I have a lot to say. I have a lot to say about many different things. But I am unsure the best way to relay what is in my heart and mind to you. Thus, I apology in advance if I ramble, but I will keep this short. I’m a 22-year-old Black man, college student, with a strange name, from Camden, NJ. I love nothing more than Black people and being Black. In a country plagued at its core with the cancerous forces of White supremacy, loving your “black” has always been problematic.
Today, it presents itself in a strange duality of defending and defining what true blackness is from within and from outside the black community. I dedicate a lot of time studying Black thought and the Black experience worldwide. I hope through time I will be able to expand on these ideas and clarify my rambling.
I want nothing more to share what I have learned with you. To tell the truth with boundless integrity. Not simply to, “start a conversation” there is enough endless chatter going on around the internet already. However, to start a conversation on the foundation of solid critical thought with the goal to bring forth solutions through knowledge and understanding. In addition, to explore the art, literature, and ideas, produced by wonderful people of color.
The battle within my head is a constant clash between the want to engage, inform, learn, and share my life experiences with you fought back by the feeling that I am not qualified to do so. Still sitting on my bed, my gaze met the words spray painted on my door in remembrance of a time I overcame one of my biggest a life obstacle of defining myself (a story for another time). The bold letters simply read “Why Not You?” These words are a constant reminder to take chances and to always believe in myself.
This may seem like a confession of some sort of insecure young Black man. I am not trying to play “insecure card,” Issa Rae has that one down packed. Let me assure you friend, I am extremely confident in myself. I hope we will get to know each other and know each other well. This is me taking a leap of faith. This is me being courageous enough to simply introduce myself to you.
Hello, I am Ayinde. Welcome to The Village.