2020 has honestly been a complete shitshow!
And I’ve been thinking a lot about what the future is going to look like especially for my generation. I never thought I’d be living through a whole ass pandemic and a revolution. When I think about 2020 so far and everything that’s happened, I realize this is the type of stuff you read about in history books, the type of things, if we’re fortunate enough, to learn about in school.
Never in a million years did I think I would be witnessing history being made. But truth be told America had this coming. This is a reckoning and it’s no longer avoidable.
The main thing that’s been on my mind is what are the history books going to look like for my children, for my children’s children. I wonder if they’ll get the story right or are they going to paint everything over in whiteness like they normally do? Are they going to paint us as villains, paint us as the ones who ignited a race war when we were only trying to stop one?
Will they mention how this virus has managed to upheave and uproot every single system in the United States? Will they talk about how this virus has highlighted every discrepancy and racial disparity across the U.S. Will they mention the essential workers and not just the ones who worked in the hospital? Will they mention the janitors, the cashiers, the truck drivers, all those whose value hasn't been recognized until now?
Will they only talk about the looting? Will they talk about how the police always “Shoot first. Ask questions later.” Will they talk about how cop killers roam the streets claiming their actions were justified. Will they even mention all the Black women who have died for this cause, gave their sweat and blood only to be disrespected and forgotten time and time again? Will they mention the Black women who were murdered? Will they talk about the fact that Black women must die in order for their presence to be acknowledged, their work recognized? Will they talk about how normal Black death has become? Will they talk about the hangings, the lynchings, they so desperately want to label as suicides? Will they mention the Karen’s and the Becky’s and the Amy’s who’ve led Black men to their death? Will they mention how America’s solution to racial injustice is to paint Black Lives Matter in the streets while murderers walk free? (but ain’t that what America’s known for?)
I have this gut feeling that the history books will be once again another lie, another distraction, another cover-up, far from the truth. I fear my children would grow up the way I did, learning about their history in small pieces, bit by bit, through social media or whatever scraps I could get my hands on because schools don’t find it important enough to teach us. Because our history has been stolen, lost through time, redacted, rewritten, revised, over and over again.
I wonder how much of the stuff we read in history books is actually true. Do you know how much I would give for even a sliver of my history and not just the same old story of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King?
Forgive me, if I do not trust the history books when the historians are men painted in white skin whose sole purpose has only been to serve themselves. Forgive me, if I do not trust the word of a colonizer. Forgive me, if I do not trust him to tell the story truthfully.
So, I’ve decided.
I will be historian. I will write the history books. I will archive it for my children. I will tell them the story of the 2020 revolution, how this movement has crossed international borders, how the world has finally recognized racism and all it took was the death of another black man. In the words of Gianna Floyd, “my daddy changed the world.”
I will tell my children the story of COVID 19 or as we like to call her, Ms. Rona. I will tell them how we burned America to the ground to have her reborn. I will tell them of all the lives we lost and I will say their names for they shall live on.
And when they ask what did I do during this time I will tell them that everything they have learned, they learned from me, cause I wrote it, I archived it, I witnessed it. I will tell them my artistry is the only thing that kept me sane. I will tell them that their mother was a storyteller, an artist, a writer, a historian. And there were others like me; poets, writers, artists, photographers and more who have documented this time for generations to come.
I will be their history teacher before I let any man or woman pollute their minds with the white version of what happened. They will read these poems, these blog posts, these journal entries. They will see the photographs, the snap chat memories, and they will know their history.
Cause let me tell you. I am not leaving my history in the hands of the white man. Not again. My history deserves to be told by someone who looks like me. And that is exactly what I am doing.
That’s it and that’s all.
Words by Miah