So torrential the climate for we Black Students becomes in moments when the racism bleeds through from the realm of the institutional and abstract to the personal. But so warm is the intimacy fostered by the sharing of identity and experience that even in the most trying of storms we prevail.
A picture screams with the million stories of oppression and dehumanization when taken with the lens attached to white supremacy. To the voice of the image our emotions genuflect; how often we bow to the rage and disdain, and how often we fail to even notice them. The climate meeting elucidated to eyes fogged by the inequity in the hands dealt to us the diversity often lost in the shared rage and sadness of the oppressed and dehumanized; we became human again. Masks of anonymity fell from faces to the rhythm of stories sung in circles, and while the chorus remains the same—the refrain is the same—and the perpetual euphony of our individual existences breathes strength into the familial ties that bind us together as a single, but infinitely intricate Black Student Community. And so fade the screams behind the soul songs of we souls who still choose to sing.
Not only do the images of the selves dwell within that picture, not only do we inhabit it as present beings, but so do we inhabit it with the blood and music of the past. Our history in every pixel, every pixel. Jeopardy zoomed in on each pixel of the image. And every note to the song became clear; the symphony with its sharps and flats and highs and lows and melodies and dirges magnified by a game. And like the mixture of dichotomies and everything within them, the shouting and laughter embodied the poles of the identities within the Black Community—two musical ends of the same song; the crash of the cymbals and drum, the lullaby of the clarinet.
Our community becomes stronger as the image becomes clearer. And while they tried to distort the music of picture they took of we with beautiful hair and curves, we hear the song. We sing the song.