By Joel L. Daniels @JoelakaMaG | Photo By Carrie Mae Weems
My mother hangs pictures on her Bronx apartment walls of Black art and well known Black figures as if she knows them, as if she drew them herself, the pride she feels for the pieces. In the bathroom are art pieces not for museums, but for Black home love ritual practitioners: pictures of Black men dressed as kings, with Black women queens holding on to the veiny brown muscles of their lovers, with poetry about love and needs and wants and the art of shouldering, of carrying melanin for and with the one you have been chosen to make life with; another one of a Black girl, hair like a hundred militants posing for a photo, more poetry underneath, this time, something more along the lines of living your life for you. There may be an air of goat soup scraping the cupboards, faint aromas of Dominica and ginger beer, coke and Rum stained glasses. In the kitchen, the magnets coloring the fridge, a collage of traveled islands, wedding dates, to-do’s, ghosts dancing near the stove, waiting for bacalao and salmon cakes.