Relic; an object surviving from an earlier time especially having sentimental or historical value. Relic is how I would describe the plethora of experiences that make us who we are. These relics exist as moments and energies that are not meant to be forgotten. They exist large and looming in our psyche and our movements. It’s important to acknowledge them. It’s important to call them out. And they have to be treated with the reverence or disdain that they deserve.

In Black American culture, I feel as though we have a predilection for being on the up and up. We are on surface a very future focused people yet the intensity and marvel of our struggle and existence is grounded in the relics . All of our shit compounded for centuries and added on to what will be an always ongoing struggle till they concede or we breed or die ourselves out. And even then ,I imagine the weight and contaminants of those relics will necessitate a constant purge, a constant need to do damage control, a gnawing anxiety that they can never undo all that has been done.

It is only recently that I think I started to analyze all these levels of oppression, all the “mal normalities” treated as norms and come to understand them as necessary functions in a relic filled society. None of it exists in a vacuum. All of it stems from the relics. And continue to function as the offspring defended and upheld by diseased denizens of the empire. I guess my line of thought then ,as a Black transwoman, a nobody, a statistic, a result according to popular culture, what do we do with those live relics in our lives in a future forward society? What do we do when we’re able to recognize the roots of our disenfranchisement, the various ways that the genocide continues and yet we’re saturated with a cultural edict to look to the future? Is it too farfetched to suggest that we’re not even counted or considered? When I think about the metrics of surviving in my NYC metro area. The cost of living , the displacement, the stagnant wages, the unemployed who will always be unemployed, the overworked 2 ,3 job having folks, the people in their 20s looking to get Social Security cause they’ve been forced to concede possibly ever running in the rat race that doesn’t sustain, that chews you out and admonishes you for having the nerve to complain. Gotta acknowledge the relics . They’re powerful determinants, they set the stage for where we go and how we get there. We want that picket fence to be them people in those picket fences. We do this all with the hope we can escape or at least forget the relics.

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