Gratitude is the best thing I can possibly have that money can’t buy. It informs everything I do. For example, right now, my vision is blurry because my optometrist is trying a new lens on my glasses. But rather than be upset about this, I’m grateful that I have an optometrist, that I was able to travel to go see him, and really, that I can see at all.
It is now brought to public memory that perhaps we are reentering The Gilded Age — an era marked by rapid prosperity, technological advancements and economic growth, its golden exterior of prosperity disguising the destitution within.
I remember sitting in my grandmother’s home in Jamaica, in the sweltering heat, confused as to why George Zimmerman was acquitted after killing Trayvon Martin.
I was twelve.
Since then, countless people have died at the hands of police — their killings preserved on dashcam or bystander video, while many others were never filmed.
The grotesque, inhumane, evil killing of George Floyd has burst the dam of Black Patience again. Black people are appalled. Black people are pissed off. Black people are fed up. Black people are heartbroken. But most of all, Black people are tired.
The pillaging of Africa’s resources by some of our nation’s most revered companies serves as a brutal reminder that even with the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, American corporations do not practice this formal equality beyond its borders. With the onset of globalization, they have merely transferred their system of exploitation overseas.
It is easy to mindlessly repeat the aesthetics and vocabulary of social justice; putting your money where your mouth is, on the other hand, proves far less convenient.
Everyone who has looked back on different points in their lives will realize that these moments are strewn about their memory. They may not be massively significant or complex, but the characteristics of these moments in time blend together to create a painfully nostalgic memory.
I branded myself on being the token fat girl. Yeah, I would still get nasty looks no matter what I ate — but fuck it, I was having fun. I had friends, and, in my opinion (which I later questioned) “stylish” clothing. Sure, I wasn’t skinny, but that didn’t matter. Grandma didn’t treat me any different, and that’s all that mattered.