This week's Five Star Mixtape come to you from a refugee's life, a road less travelled without regret, starting to figure out one's involvement in racism, the power of language, the weight of a man's blackness, and Milan Kundera:
People listen, and they don’t listen. They’re amazed and moved, and they look bored and proud of themselves, like they’re checking a box. I try to be relevant and not frightening.
I want them to understand that you don't have to walk the same path as everyone else to live a wonderful life. My life is incredible, in large part because I took the road less travelled.
I have long suspected that I may be a passive or cultural racist.
There, I said it. I understand that this particular confession may smell like some gratuitous, well timed, over baked click bait, but it happens to be true.
For so many people, that word — despite tired attempts to reclaim the power rooted beneath it — will always be loaded with loathing and a brutal history, making it hard to truly shrug off. I may be able to let go of the incident in which it shows up, but the word doesn’t quite leave right away. It has a way of lingering behind like a noxious belch.
I was suddenly profoundly aware of my blackness, and this cape I wore and wear on my shoulders, every day, in the shower and to school and to work and on dates and to bed. The weight never gets easier, and it causes you to bow your shoulders and bend your knees, to tiptoe around. You shrink beneath it. Painfully aware of your blackness, you become smaller.
And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online: