“Race, as we have come to understand it, is a fiction; but racism, as we have come to live it, is a fact,” Charles M. Blow wrote in The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto. A manifesto encouraging as many Black descendants of the Great Migration as possible to return to the south to bring political power to key Southern cities. A reverse migration, if you will. After all, he writes: “racism behaves the way racism behaves.” It isn’t “geography-based but proximity-and-scale dependent” and that “there is almost no difference in the level of bias between white people who live in the South and those who live in the Northeast or Midwest.”
What caught my attention was that Blow, having described himself as a newspaperman, discovered that he could be a true insurgent in this space. In that he was uniquely positioned, as a writer, not only to express an idea of radical thinking but also to push it out into the world.
How can we use the spaces were are in to radically bring out the humanity in all of us, culturally, linguistically, socially, and politically?
And these words rang to me too: