To men who have come and who are yet to come: In a time of men like Nate Parker

To men who have come and who are yet to come:
In a time of men like Nate Parker

TW: Sexual Assault

What is it to see a heart that is made of rusting iron – disintegrating when the world tries to fill it with oxygen; falling apart when the world attempts to give it life? I wonder how many layers of gold were corroded in order to produce these browning remains of Sunday mornings and childhood memories?

It is the slow demise of laughter, sanity, sanctity and all.

See, she knows that broken hearts are not born in isolated plains, from a single knife to the chest or a solitary intended lie.

Broken hearts are made of repetitive fractures – forgotten I love you’s, half-hearted I’ll be there for you’s and sweet nothings turned into unwanted kisses and a woman negotiating with her demons, asking them to remind her of a time when they fled at the very sound of her voice.

This used to be holy ground, this used to be someone’s heaven on earth–someone’s laughter, sanity, sanctity and all.

See, she has not known peace since the day he decided to deceive her into believing that it could only be found at the end of his penis – something so delicate, so fragile yet so destructive. Don’t you know those things have started wars? Intercontinental, intertribal, interfamilial type of wars. Wars inside the heart of a black woman who used to welcome him into her home, her temple, only to realize that she was housing a thief sent to steal her laughter, sanity, sanctity and all – sent to steal sugar/spice, the things you wanted her to be made of. But now that woman is a bittersweet lemon, and a shot of whiskey. The type that burns your throat every time you sip from it, as if to remind you of the nights she was stolen from. As if to make you relive her pain even in your inaction. And these days she’s trying to understand why they try to teach us women to be hospitable when all some of you really deserve is an eviction from body, mind and soul; an exorcism from body, mind, soul. A ritual that only she can conduct.

See, she’s in need of herself, her own saving, her own sensual seduction, her own divine intervention and her own sweet nothings because the peace that she’s looking for--that centuries old peace--cannot be found at the end of a penis, something so delicate, so fragile. Because this brokenness has corroded gold, shattered the heart of a black woman, a fortress of strength and weathered mettle. What she is looking for can only be found on the palms of a black woman. The lines intertwining, fading, never-ending to remind her that the past is the present; to remind her that black female pain has neither known space nor been moderated by time; to remind her that she has never been new to this. But all she is looking for is peace. An age-old peace that can withstand lethal oxygen and illicit thrusts. So give her your mind. Because right now she’s not seeking that land of freedom for her feet and soul - what she is looking for cannot be found within monotonous arguments---excuses that begin with “not all men”, and end with a righteous morality that dismisses her anger and pain as irrational. You are neither healer nor savior, this journey does not begin or end with you.

Right now she’s just looking for peace. So give her your mind.

Show her that she can be her own laughter, sanity, sanctity and all.

by Mumbi Kanyogo

Mumbi Kanyogo