I’m a slice of marbled bread, surrounded by white loaves, captive in a baker’s rack, waiting to be displayed in the storefront counter.
“Whiteness” in the appetite of man eludes and, at times, overwhelms me. Embedded in every conceivable medium, archived for posterity, true or not.
Its myths secure, legends immortalized, legacies glorified.
What about the rye and pumpernickel among us? Does not our past, our presence, deserve a place at the banquet table? By omission, we have gone missing. Null and void. Abandoned to maintain a color coded status-quo.
What is to be gained and lost in willful exclusion? All people work and play, give and take, rejoice and weep, sacrifice and endure. All people are resolute in their beliefs and fall victim to an assortment of weakness.
All people, beautiful and plain, bleed. Empathy, not indifference defines our humanity.
Why intentionally remove and render moot the embodiment and deeds of others? Unless one fears truth of message, assimilation of cultures – or, moreover, the fear of a new reality, that of a changing demographic, of equal footing and competition for land, home, position, influence and power.
Within the contiguous U.S. borders and pallid empowered culture, we don’t exist. We’re invisible, expendable. Our story; our family history hasn’t been told, truthfully.
As people of color, we’re marginalized, mere footnotes in the American story line, bereft of accomplishment, alien, irrelevant and insignificant, reduced to contrived, “other than white”census boxes.
My story is much like yours, only different. Our narratives simultaneously coexist under dissimilar conditions. Our lives are both analogous and divergent, but interchangeable without invalidating the other. The duality of American life; confounding, yet discernible.
The irony, of course, is that we’re just breads of different colors, braided and rolled together. More palatable when baked into dense textures, flavors enriched when served warmly.
Man – like bread, takes time to rise to the occasion, in need of a leavening agent to ascend.
Bakers know how to make yeast grow and dough to expand. When exposed to extreme temperature, the yeast will die, the dough will never rise. Man – too, needs no less an agent for change; an accepting social temperature and environment to grow and fully develop.
Personally, I like all kinds of bread: light rye, dark rye, pumpernickel, marble, flat-breads, sourdough, even plain old “white bread.” The type of bread borne of the oven is not in question,- the Baker is, and bears a name.
It’s you. And it’s me. It’s plainly evident by the powdered residue on our hands.
How about we share some space in the kitchen and while we’re at it, a little history? Manipulation of the past is an amplified device. It serves a purposeful conveyance - to increase the volume and channel voice in one direction; to sanction or moderate people and events.
It deliberately lacks honest perspective and clarity; and is much too often uncharitable to the deserving. If we choose to, we can change all of that.
All it takes is a slightly modified mixture of flours, some yeast and water, tender but thorough kneading, a hospitable temperature, and most importantly,
- consciousness -
to provide all of us with the truth and the sustenance of worthiness.