From the outset, I want to be excused for perhaps giving you the wrong impression. I am no black. Although this seems to be suggested with some humour, it is a rather cynical sentiment which summarises reflections collected over many years of field research and detached study. I have always related to myself as a mind, even if this has often been as the expense of physicality and “family”. I have always seen myself as simply a mind – not even a human being. I have embraced myself as this abstract intellect simply because that is the centre of our experience of the world. I have not been able to utilise the “human” narrative in attempts to interpret experience and make sense out of conflict, confusion and contrast. I cannot be a human being as that requires a level of dignity that I have been denied. It also entails a continuous sense of identity which, for my part, was fragmented many years ago. Whiteness is the monopoly on competence that colonises consciousness. After whiteness, there is only the negation of whiteness, meaning that anything non-white is immediately ranked in a hierarchy which necessitates various degrees of comparisons to whiteness.
With whiteness being synonymous with wholeness, i.e. being human, and complete, those with varying degrees of dignity conferred simply embraced what whites have granted as concessions and bestowed as privileged favours, and yet, this still doesn’t mean that these “near-whites” are human, and so, I have no proof that I am human. I only have evidence suggesting that I have a mind, and I only have experience which has demonstrated that I have a particular perspective that is not shared by the dominant discourse and mainstream. For this reason, much of my life I had had to deal with entirely different obstacles that may others could not even fathom, nor imagine. It has been with this reality that I have necessarily had to distance myself from the madness of the mass which is blind to the profound subtleties, and undiscerning of their destructive non-consciousness. For my part, I have always experienced a world of violence, torment and terror. I have always experienced a world of people attempting to subvert my reality, and so I have had to guard, protect, and salvage the identity that remained after I was ravaged by the dominant discourse. For my part, I have had to scavenge until eventually, finally arriving at compensation: an identity of elitism that gave cover against the hostile, volatile, temperamental people who stood in their shadows and then wondered why it was dark.
In my younger days I had a very limited conception of blackness. I was top of my class, and an aspiring mathematician. I was part o the gifted and talented programmed, and yet, coming form the background, I was always a child of two worlds; that which was physical (blackness, and all its implications) and that which was cerebral (whiteness and all its opportunities.) At least, at that age, your “blackness” is no seen as a competition (threatening) and so, you have more leeway. That being the case, I was placed in some groups to accelerate children, and yet, sadly, these didn’t amount to much, mainly owing to the failings of parents who simply didn’t have the mind to navigate these situations and exploit available platforms. Either way, ultimately, two things happened in both worlds: that which was black and that which was white. In the white world, I was streamed in top sets, and eventually sent to summer programmes for advanced students. It meant that even with “rebellion” (misbehaviour?), I was still relied upon to perform and produce. I was, after all, a top three student, when it came to maths. Even in the department of literature, I was rather adept, with interventionists suggesting I write. Apart from that, I was always a voracious reader. I imagine that was related to a father who was a disciplinarian educationalist, and a mother who was an ardent reader and researcher, and so, growing up around them, and always being around books, I supposed I naturally picked up this habit, and yet, this explanation is incomplete. If it works, my siblings would be as smart as myself, and yet, at least this side of the family, I’m the precocious one. Irony is I never did have a family.