In the newest video from The Twerking Academic, titled “Double Consciousness Homecoming,” I explore how the summer of 2020 slammed me back into an awareness of my own double consciousness as a Black American. Though I was quite traumatized by the public spectacle of Black death splashed across the news and multiple social media platforms, the more acute wounding occurred closer to home as I grappled with the performativity I witnessed around me and my own less than satisfactory response to it.
My personal leniency for all the past wounds inflicted upon me distressed me. I had been too kind, had made too many allowances, had placed white comfort above my own innumerable times. In doing so, I wounded myself almost irreparably as I realized that the gesture would never be returned. For years, I waited, confident in the fact that when the time came to march, “they” would march. They did not march.
And I, along with all the illusions I had unconsciously built for my own day to day survival, shattered. Because I had done everything that I was supposed to do to be an exemplary Black person to them. How could they not march for and with me? How could they not even muster up a post for me? I had talked less. I had smiled more. And still… the seats for the “Shanita’s Life Matters” conference were vacant. Even then, I did not confront them about it. I just sat there mute, wounded by betrayal and my own expendability in their lives and in the world.
I focused this piece on exploring multiple layers of disappointment and revelations. It is very much a delayed enacting of necessary internal and external confrontations. All in one breath, the piece focuses on conversations I should have been having with friends and acquaintances, my own disappointment with my inability to engage my social circle in meaningful discussions about their silence and lack of action, and processing my double consciousness homecoming. I am as much the subject of the emotional entreaty within the ballad as I view the performance my outer self is giving with the eyes of my inner self.