After inviting my black self to the Academy to indulge in intellectual pursuits, I spent the better part of these two years listening to the voices of old white men. Well, I suppose young ones too, since both Alan Watts and Sam Harris had tenure in my youtube playlists.
Finally seeing through the veiled and overt racism within the Intellectual class, I looked for a reflection of my experience in Black American and African Philosophers. Why I overlooked doing this in the first place is a complicated matter for another day. But suffice it to say, I grew tired of the same rhetoric from both black and white philosophers. Until one day, the YouTube gods gifted me with a lecture by Toni Morrison. I’d always known of Morrison’s work, but had distinctly remember my mother claiming to have nightmares after reading Song of Solomon, so I never attempted any of her work.
Either way, It was listening to Toni’s lectures that made me nearly fall on my knees. I was full of love and appreciation for those like her who have come before me. And so full of sorrow for my ingratitude for the same. I had been ungrateful, impatient, faithless. When all along a path had been blazed for me.
It was the richness of her voice. Her narrative storytelling that made my struggles with my feeling self in the context of quant-hungry, white-washed higher institutions make sense. She made my life as a writer, as an intellectual, as a black woman, make sense. She made the sensitivity of my soul make sense.
Often billed as a writer or author, I’ve come to know Elder Morrison as great thinker and philosopher of our time. She is a national treasure. Though myriad distinguished academic and cultural institutions have also recognized her as such, it will be some time before the world truly catches up to her genius.
To a Great Mother, whose voice has rocked me to sleep at night: Your mission to grant the world the everlasting gift of insight into the Human Spirit is now complete. Good night Dearly Beloved. You will be sorely missed.