We do not live in a post-racial society. And we will never will until this country makes it a national priority to confront the racialized myths upon which this country was built. We must lead the way in facing the complex history of racism in America and the way in which it continues to be a deadly plague upon black bodies.
Ever since I got into travel writing, I've been told to read the works of Joseph Conrad, Jack Kerouac, Edward Abbey, Bruce Chatwin, Paul Theroux, William Dalrymple, Bill Bryson, and other white men. While I learned a lot from their stories, I was also repeatedly left with questions about misogyny and racial insensitivity.
For many of us, as the sole black person in class, we are called upon to represent our race's view on the atrocities that occurred in the past, cringing as we try to articulate a water-downed version from a chapter of a history book. Yet, we are expected to be grateful for that seat and not fight for others.