Monday, January 27, 2014

The Black Rotunda
Escaping White Disillusionment

The body is to the mind what the mind is to the body. The conscience once obstructed is prone to disease.

I recently read Ekow Eshun's Black Gold of the Sun, memoir about his trip through Ghana in search of himslef. Birthed in London, he left for Ghana when he was two, lived there and brought back to London where he grew up. Centered on slavery while traveling through Ghana, the memoir is interspersed with stories about a conscientious black revolution in the early 1990's, his personal struggles through schooling and an acute madness which is never revealed as a diagnosis.

Disease in a carefully guided understanding would be a failed obsession with something which becomes perverse or nightmarish. It could be Nabakov's obsession with butterflies. Bukowski's three vices of women, gambling and alcohol. I come from a disease of love and philosophy.

The stage was set growing up in Ghana when I lived among other Ghanaian boys and girls, alerted to sexuality by the presence of my cousins on my grandmother's compound and the dolled up beauty of my classmates at The Royal Preparatory. My maturity was a little unsettled at the age of ten. But I had a libido as I looked over posters of Bollywood movies and other imports from the United States.

My sexual queries were based on innocence, a school crush, particular girls who were fashionable and a semi education from my cousins on what was sexual behavior. This was a pivotal stage in my life where I would have started dating or perhaps fell in love. At this point I was shy and removed from behavior of other boys which was arrogant and furious. I didn't do my best to attract the attention of women but they went out of their way to notice me.

I wonder what would have become of me had I continued to live in Ghana at least until I was a teenager.

The transition was then made from the basis of a black fancy of love and girls to that of a more white based group of girls. I remember sitting next to two Irish girls in particular while studying at grammar shool. One of them named Siobhan had pink skin with freckles. I was drawn to the perculiarity of her skin and difference from mine. It appeared sensitive and frail. What disturbed me was that her skin was different. It was stark, white skin, not to mention her blue eyes, pointed nose and blonde hair. She was different, an animal of an alternative beauty. The more I sat near her, the more I smelled the scent that emanated from her. It was close to that of an egg. I mark this particular girl as an example that was set in the other white girls that came along.

The obsession with the white female was made perverse by pornography on Cable television, adult male magazines and my mother's Italian fashion catalogues. Philosophy of love is a conscience. Obsession is a disease. I suffered from both. Whereas my classmates were involved in relationships, I was taken to making illustrations from porn magazines, watching cable television, defining myself as an African Marquis de Sade or Picasso. I was alone, unresponsive to the advances from girls.

I kept a crew of boys who traveled with knives. I accompanied them as they went on trysts with girls, came back and told me about them. It was as if I was a spectator in life.

My classmates and friends lived a life here in New York, as a foreigner I lived my life through them. I gained strength and sustenance, was introduced to rock and roll and courting women. This would have and did serve as foundation for highschool.

However unfortunate I went to an all boys Catholic school. What did serve as discipline brought awkwardness in how I approached women. Once again I was lead by classmates who went on trysts with girls. I accompanied them but not on a mission. My attempts at girls were made at school dances where my interests in white girls continued. I desired them but I didn't know how to approach them. Even when alone with a girl and there were moments of intimacy, they were always awkward.

At this point it was instilled in me that beauty was white. The white female was beauty. This had become the disease. Pop culture and society had done a number on me. My life as a Ghanaian, African male had been changed conscientiously to think beauty came in the form of a white female.

I grew up in an African household. Through my mother I met some beautiful African girls. There was no love attraction except for one who passed away. I remember when our meyes met. I made an effort. Our relationship was long distance but after ten years we started a brief love affair. I remember her rotund body. Her skin was dark and black and it was tough to the touch. I remember making love to a black woman for the first time. Our bodies were one. It seemed centuries had found us together in that bedroom. I sensed our souls were confounded as one.

It was not love play. It was love action. I felt as much as a lion makes love to a lioness she and I were from the same animal.

She has since left this earth. Our personal difficulties and our time apart caused a strain in our relationship. I felt I wasn't emotionally responsive to her. This may have been partly due to my invested interest in my work at the time as playwright. She longed for me. I was her first lover. And we were great lovers at first. But as we merged as a couple I withdrew. I blame it on our mutual differences, however personal. I would have needed to date other black women to define myself further.

This has weighed on my conscience of late as I do a social experiment on my personal history. I came across a Tumblr site called "Why I love Black Women" which displays pictures of black women both clothed and in the nude. Looking over these images the unresolved relationships I have had with white girls seem to fade away. It's as if I'm reinstituting the native black female back in my conscience. And it's working. I have plans to read books on African history.

The body is to the mind what the mind is to the body. The conscience once obstructed is prone to disease.

My lost at virginity was a success. It was with an Italian girl. This also set a premise for my interest in European women as well as other foreign women. I now consider my love for women to be international.

There is an understanding of race and culture, history and slavery. It showcases where I come from, where I am and prospects for a stronger future.

The philosophical aspect of my obsession was served by my interest in European philosophers. The pornographic aspect has been rendered neutral as I now find profound joy in self respect and love of self and family.

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