Swimming Lessons: A Conversation in the Black Lives Matter Era
by Kashema Hutchinson
This is a candid conversation between two Black women grappling with current issues that are affecting Black people in the United States including cultural appropriation, mass incarceration, extrajudicial killings, and stereotype threats. The scene takes place via text message using colloquial expressions, images, music lyrics, and current events with the support of various theoretical perspectives. Two voices. Two views. One conversation.
Although this dialogue has ended here, it serves as a springboard for further conversation. I wrote this piece to highlight the various ontologies in today’s Movement AND within individuals in the Movement. Moreover, people can look at the same phenomenon and interpret differently, such as “Black-on-Black crime” and its’ atrocious role in excusing extrajudicial killings. To paraphrase Coates (2015), the destruction of the Black body is American “heritage,” which manifests in various ways—both internally and externally. “Black-on-Black crime” is just one of these internal manifestations.
In summation, our epistemologies or our knowledge systems, come from scholars, revolutionaries, recording artists, writers, the media, and—most importantly—our interactions in various environments. Blackness in America varies, but one thing remains the same: our lives matter.
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