chapter  3
queers in a barrel
Pages 32

So an invitation came for me to address the masses during the annual Black Solidarity Day rally on campus. Black Solidarity Day is a day set aside annually on the first Monday in November. On that day black students on many campuses across the United States attempt to show unity with each other by sponsoring cultural events, wearing all-black outfits, singing the “Negro National Anthem” (James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice” which nobody seems to know the second verse to) and raising

Black Power fists. I was a fervent supporter of such events when I was an undergraduate (nothing like hordes of black students in black scaring the shit out of white folks), so I understood the spirit of the invitation. But I was also distressed by the invite, not simply because it was last minute, but because I wasn’t the kind of brotha they really wanted to hear from on that day. I simply can’t be one of them “kumbaya-we-are-the-descendantsof-Kings-and-Queens-uplift the race” kind of negroes anymore. If I have to sit through another Afro-Nubian fashion show concocted by nineteen-and twenty-year-olds who’ve just discovered their blackness and a few passages from the triumvirate of Malcolm, Karenga, and KRS-One, I might have to give up my ghetto pass.