"A Boy Who Climbs Fences"- Brooklyn (2014) shot by leeandrewphotography
Posts tagged black boys.
Another Morning With Darius, 2013. John Edmonds
We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit because what was native has been stolen from us. - Audre Lorde #houseofbaldwin #familia #twisting | photo: Marfuh
We are communities engaged in a fragile coexistence if we are anything at all. Our most significant coalitions have been created in the realm of sex. What is most clear for Black gay men is this: we have to do for ourselves *now*, and for one another *now*, what no one has ever done for us. We have to be there for one another and trust less the adhesions of kisses and semen to bind us. Our only sure guarantee of survival is that which we construct from our own self determination.
black boy tuesdays | washington, dc | 2014
————————————"Brooklyn, or Bed-Stuy to be exact, is an interesting space to explore and play with black masculinities, especially as a black queer man. When I am walking through my neighborhood I feel black and queer and unrestricted and seen and safe (except for my moments when I encounter police) and cool and connected to the black folk around me. In fact, the “street” is the perfect stage to perform and queer black masculinities. It is one of those spaces where black men and women expand the boundaries that are typically used to confine us.
Gender is stretched and pulled and reconfigured by black folk in Bed-Stuy in some amazing ways—so much so that it is easy to confuse someone’s sexuality based on the ways they queer gender. I think that particular aspect is dope as hell and radically political. Straight black men and women are often confused as queer (not just in terms of sexual identity, but as a politics and expression of counter-normative ways of being) simply because of the ways they free themselves from gender boxes. How fly is that? How fly is it that queerness becomes the “thing” that one aspires to regardless of her/his/their sexual identity?
For me, fashion is one of the means through which I express and mess with gender. Whether I am rocking some bohemian-esque shirts or street-fresh Tommie hoodie, vintage neckwear or handmade beaded bracelets, a pair of fly ass Jordans or head turning Alejandro Ingelmos, skinny jeans or an expertly tailored suit, I feel perfectly situated “in” my black skin. I feel cool as a black queer man in a black neighborhood where cool is constantly epitomized and re-imagined. I mean Bed-Stuy is so cool that white folk (and black & brown folk who once thought it uncool and unsafe to live in “Do or Die Bed-Stuy”) are moving here in droves. Go figure.
Nonetheless, to be black gay and masculine does not mean that I need to be conventional; queerness frees me to move from the question of who I am as a black masculine body to the more liberatory notion that beyond the way my body is caught up in a system of White racial supremacist hetero-patriarchy, I am someBODY, a human body. In other words, I try to express who the fuck Darnell is as opposed to what my body signifies (and prompts) as a black male masculine-performing body in a hood that is literally policed and increasingly gentrified.
So, yeah, I feel safe being me on the streets of Bed-Stuy. I feel safe being black queer and masculine…unless I am rocking a hoodie late at night and encounter the police. I guess that’s true of most black bodies inhabiting spaces where we are assailed by police. Shit, that is true of all black folk in America.”