Jamaican, black man, immigrant, American citizen, Afro-Caribbean, Floridian, son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, friend and of course a die hard Miami Heat fan, these are all part of my identity.
As a Jamaican immigrant who has spent nearly the second half of my life in the United States and lived in Copenhagen, Denmark since August 2012, I’m of the opinion that I’d be able to contribute to the mission of 50 Shades of Black . In addition to the Jamaican perspective I do think in many ways I bring an American perspective to the table, albeit not the typical American perspective. I’m a product of my life and educational experiences which is a constant balancing act of drawing parallels, noticing points of demarcation and the melding of the US and Jamaican viewpoints.
I first met Carlton as a 16 year old when I attended Emory University’s Youth Theological Initiative (Jesus camp hahaha) in the summer of 2006. That experience opened up my mind intellectually, it was spiritually edifying and it was here I discovered my social conscience and had some of my more formative conversations, many of those with Carlton. Now almost 7 years later he has extended an invitation to me to partner with him in his groundbreaking venture 50 Shades of Black as a contributing writer. How could I not take him up on this offer? I see this as Carlton Mackey's brain child with me as the godfather. My job is to take an active role in nurturing this site into increased cultural relevance and help it to embrace its seminal character and its potential for emerging as a forge of profound musings and observations and constructive dialogue about identity.
Talking about identity is one of my favorite past times. Living and studying in Denmark for such a long period has ensured that I’m constantly bombarded with questions, conversations, and experiences that have given me new insights into how others conceive and comprehend their identities and the protean and ever evolving nature of my own. I see 50 Shades of Black as a forum for the exploration of different aspects of identity including but not limited to sexuality, race, ethnicity, geographic origin, gender and how they all interplay with our social, political and economic milieus and the existences that are wrought as a result. You can expect thoughtful, insightful and most importantly, honest writing rife with keen observations that cut across genres and many topics from me. Prepare for intellectual warfare on stereotypes and pre-conceived notions about race, ethnicity, skin tone, gender, sexuality, and just identity in general with the explicit aim of emancipating people from the shackles of mental slavery. Everything is vulnerable to assault! Looking forward to this journey!
"He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave."-Andrew Carnegie.