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How Solange and Michelle saved me from the beast of Trump

Saturday, October 29, 2016 14:17
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(Before It's News)

by Jacqueline Bediako

Donald Trump is the consequence of an America in which a white man with money is automatically bestowed with power and political freedom. Despite his blatant stupidity, repulsiveness and toxic influence, he remains a presidential candidate – to me this is ridiculous.

An imposed hierarchy means that my voice as a Black woman is the last to be heard.

Jacqueline Bediako

Jacqueline Bediako

It is assumed that I’m not a qualified doctor.

Further, I’m not allowed to walk while Black or even laugh while Black. I’m exposed to sexual violence, poverty and unemployment. I’m constantly trying to survive, plan ahead and provide for my family.

As an undocumented immigrant occupying jobs that help big cities make money, I’m practically invisible. As a permanent resident, I’m not allowed to vote. I dread making mistakes because the criticism will be harsh, and sometimes I’m not even free to wear my hair as I please.

My blackness becomes desirable when others appropriate aspects of it, and yet there aren’t enough representations of my brilliance in the media.

The beast, which looms in the background is so grotesque, I would rather not digest its dialogue. I’m more concerned with the suffering of my brothers and sisters in Haiti, the missing Chibok girls in Nigeria, and the families ripped apart by the arbitrary connection forged between criminalization and immigration.

And this beast – simultaneously occupying misogyny and white supremacy – only serves to remind me that my liberation is distant, and the things that worry me are unlikely to fade.

Cue Solange Knowles and Michelle Obama to deliver me from this angst.

Solange Knowles in the music video for “Cranes in the Sky”

Solange Knowles in the music video for “Cranes in the Sky”

In September 2016, Solange released a new album, “A Seat at the Table.” While watching the videos for songs on the album – “Cranes in the Sky” and “Don’t Touch My Hair” – the enduring nature of my limitless Black imagination was reborn.

The imagery in both videos is startlingly beautiful and mesmerizing. Regardless of the angle in which she is viewed, Solange is a vision of perfection – as are the other Black models who illuminate each frame.

Their outer beauty is of course, obvious, but there is an inner beauty, a quiet confidence, and a resilience of spirit that the camera captures. Indeed, magic lives in their faces, a magic that connects all Black people to a belief that they will not be broken, removed or silenced. Here, blackness is omnipotent, inspiring and nuanced, and it must be preserved.

With this realization it seems unfathomable that Black minds, Black talent and Black freedom could quickly be destroyed by racism, government induced segregation, police brutality, food apartheid and a dangerous presidential candidate.

Another exceptional Black woman – Michelle Obama – graced the stage in New Hampshire on Oct. 13, where she delivered an eloquent speech unleashing necessary criticism on Trump who “bragged about sexually assaulting women.” Without naming Trump, instead referring to him as “a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior,” she restored dignity to the 2016 elections. While watching Michelle articulate the thoughts within many people’s minds, I was reminded of her natural qualities as a leader.

With this realization it seems unfathomable that Black minds, Black talent and Black freedom could quickly be destroyed by racism, government induced segregation, police brutality, food apartheid and a dangerous presidential candidate.

In the presence of Solange and Michelle, it’s easier to disconnect from the pernicious beast of Trump.

I’m grateful that I can turn to the power and creativity of Black women to reignite my pursuit of liberation.

Jacqueline Bediako is a Ghanaian writer, teacher and activist who was born in London, England. After completing her undergraduate studies in England, Jacqueline moved to America. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, and has called New York City home for the past eight years. Her work focuses on race, politics and the education of students with disabilities. Follow her @jb2721.

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