Black Consciousness

Christiana Carvalho's photo


On public roads, hands, rifles and police revolvers carry out the perforation that sheds black blood on the hot asphalt, in alleys and alleys where black life flows between the drains of misery and oblivion.

After the celebrations of black November and the month that, in the name of Zumbi and Dandara dos Palmares, recalls, denounces and demands historical reparations to the Brazilian black population, a certain silence seems to prevail after the event, with regard to black (un)consciousness national. However, images associated with violence, genocide, chaos and the never isolated cases of racism that, from north to south, cross the Amefrican territory reign. Cases that tear families and communities apart, annihilate subjects and destroy possibilities for a full and dignified life, as guaranteed in the Brazilian Constitutional Charter.

Images of control, as enunciated by Patricia Hill Collins, which reinforce practices of domination, criminalization and violence, physical and symbolic, aimed at stigmatizing and legitimizing their own death operations. If death occupies a fundamental place in this imagetic production, it is insofar as it constitutes the starting point, from the perspective of white supremacy, of what is the natural and original destiny of the black body, that from death-in-life to death factual would pass from a state of non-being to disappear, like the fading of the image of a ghost – between worlds, fears and ways of being guided by the negative.

In life, however, the dark conscience of being, of living and stubbornness take shape, face, name and figure of what, being, insists on dismantling the worlds of death of whiteness and its mechanisms of suffocation, triggered by different ways. On public roads, hands, rifles and police revolvers carry out the perforation that sheds black blood on the hot asphalt, in alleys and alleys where black life flows between the drains of misery and oblivion; on private roads, by the hands of executioners and taskmasters who call love (?) the disease that extirpates, subjugates and liquidates the lives of women, especially black women, found in black bags, rivers, cold tiles, immobilized in photos that print, on a daily basis , small rectangles of bloody newspapers (until when?).

Harvested, between promises of eternal love and the eternal apology of police forces and heads of state, disappear, in black and white, stories, narratives and memories of those who, slaughtered, are condemned without inquiry, while co- principals are decorated in official and unofficial ceremonies.

I think of these faces as I write and see the smile, the furrows in the skin, the marks and long lines of life – interrupted. I think of the black lives that matter, they say, and yet remain consciously exterminated by apocalyptic hands while, in schools, we try to enforce the law of life, the law of justice and the teaching of history and culture of those who, before us, in the diaspora, with their sweat they enforced the counter-law of the world of unjust men.

After 20 years of enactment of Law 10.639/03, silent or complacent, convenience continues to whiten training itineraries. But the power of the black cry challenges the prevailing silence. It fights, rumbles, shakes and disarranges the (funeral) rites of linear, pompous and heroic stories that do not mention Dandara, Aqualtune, Marielle, Lélia and Sueli, because, there, the sacred pact is white, in the masculine.

Our conscience is science, sweat and wheels. It is sudden, challenge and capoeira, swing with the arrangements, institutional or not, organized for centuries to transport the bodies in tumbeiros, caveirões and hearses, for whom death becomes capital punishment and not part of existence and the world shared with the ancestry. Even death was plundered. And buried in shallow graves, without name, plate or identification document, so that indigence would devour, with its sharp beak, the putrefied flesh of those who dreamed of their own home, graduation and big family, like Kethlen Romeu and his son, murdered in the womb.

Revenge is still a challenge in the diaspora. Revenge to the last drop of life, the challenge in the 52 weeks and 1 day of black consciousness, which make up a year. In it, every day is devoted to the undoing of the disastrous pact. Every day is dedicated to the memory of what, repressed, cannot be satisfied with a single day or month of the year. It emerges, day by day, because born in an emergency zone. Against virulence, insurgent, it manages resistance in the black conscience of the fight for what it is, was and will be. Every day of the year.

*Diego dos Santos Reis He is a professor at the Federal University of Paraíba and at the Graduate Program Humanities, Rights and Other Legitimacies, at the University of São Paulo.

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