This chart is a fabulous visual for the seen and unseen impact of White Supremacy. If you are aware of the original source and creator of this chart, please contact us.
We think that it is safe to say that Milwaukee is like that proverbial powder keg that is always waiting to explode. Milwaukee is unique among rustbelt cities (cities gutted by deindustrialization) in that it has managed to claim and maintain the status of the worst city in the entire country to raise a black child; one zip code in Milwaukee has the highest incarceration rate of African American men in the entire country, racial hyper segregation rules the day, and the education system is bad. That is why we are not surprised with the unrest in Milwaukee. Nearly 100 years of intense hyper segregation, racial inequality and economic deprivation breed that kind of unrest. Once you throw racial inequities in policing into the mix (every civilian shot by an officer in 2015 was black) then you have an untenable situation, a powder keg. We will argue that maybe there should be less focus on the burning of buildings and the destruction of property and more focus on the systemic inequality that plagues the city.
What We Have
Our men do not belong to us. Even my own father, left one afternoon, is not mine. My brother is in prison, is not mine. My uncles, they go back home and they are shot in the head, are not mine. My cousins, stabbed in the street for being too—or not—enough, are not mine.
Then the men we try to love, say we carry too much loss, wear too much black, are too heavy to be around, much too sad to love. Then they leave and we mourn them too. Is that what we’re here for? To sit at kitchen tables, counting on our fingers the ones who died, those who left and the others who were taken by the police, or by drugs, or by illness or by other women. It makes no sense. Look at your skin, her mouth, these lips, those eyes, my God, listen to that laugh. The only darkness we should allow into our lives is the night, and even then, we have the moon.
Building an Afrofuturist imagining is hard work because it entails a decolonization of the mind. Yes, there are black people in the future, but what does this mean and what does it look like? First of all, we imagine that it means that there is no such thing as white supremacy. We imagine that it is a future in which the black body is no longer commoditized, brutalized, or incarcerated. We imagine that it is a world in which we are able to revel in and celebrate our blackness without fear of being criminalized for it. We imagine that it is a future where our gender non-conformity and sexuality don't define our authenticity as black people or make our bodies sites of violence.We imagine that it is a world free of misogynoir--a black future in which black women like Sandra Bland and Korryn Gaines are afforded the same worth and reverence as black men.
We're tired of black people being murdered by police and watching people scramble to justify it. We're tired of black men forgetting that Black Lives Matter isn't just Black Men Matter as they stay silent when black cisgender women and black trans women are murdered. We're tired.
Welcome to Womanist Expressions, brainchild of Caitlin Gunn and Kidiocus Carroll.