In America, Aging While Black Takes Solidarity, Activism And Magic

By | February 17, 2017

Aging while Black is an act of survival.

The story of Africans in America is a story of continuous systematic efforts to bring about our subjugation and demise, but magically we thrive. Against great efforts to hold us back, as a people we are no more near our end than the end of all things. But as we work to shape our futures, we must be aware of deep-rooted anti-aging messages and the ways that they shape our community. While old age and death are linked in the dominant American consciousness, too often for African-Americans, age does not predict when death will come knocking.

We have seen death take our babies, our youth, our middle-aged folks and our elders. Death by police firearms, death due to lack of healthcare, death from drinking polluted water. So, what does it mean to age as a Black person in America? When incarceration and murder steal the lives of thousands of Black men and boys under the age of 30 each year, how do we make sense of life at later ages? How do we reconcile the dominant white cultural denigration of aging with the reverence that many African-Americans have for their family and community elders? (Huffington Post)

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