If the revolution isn’t ratchet…

By: Sey Elemo, Columnist

I am Angela Davis. I am Nikki Giovanni. I am Lauryn Hill.

I am Amber Rose. I am Nicki Minaj. I am Cardi B.

Honestly, I am Sey Elemo, a first generation Nigerian-American. I’m a junior, and I hold various positions in organizations, both on and off Towson’s campus. I was born and raised in the fourth wealthiest black community in the United States (though it was the first when I was growing up).

I come from a two-parent household. I am the youngest of three children, and my parents sent all of us to four-year universities. I am able-bodied. I am a black woman that benefits from several privileges. I’m a scholar. I read, a lot. I love language, and I regularly use multi-syllabic words in my everyday vernacular. I am woke. I can, and will read you from from A to Z on racism, patriarchy, and the like.

I twerk, frequently, I love hip-hop music and culture, very much. While I enrich my spirit with, “To Pimp a Butterfly,” when it’s finished I am liable to open my Spinrilla app and play my favorite Fetty Wap mixtape.

I have an affinity with trap music and my soul smiles when I hear the words “Metro Boomin’ want some more…” I curse. I party. I milly rock, on any and every block. By some standards, I am ratchet.

Contrary to what patriarchy, misogyny, white privilege, male privilege, chauvinism, bigotry, the men in the movement, and maybe even your own friends, peers, and parents tell you, my ratchetery does not negate my inner revolutionary.

I have no shame in who I am. It’s no secret that I will give an impromptu seminar on white privilege and its lasting impact on the nation.

If “Back That Azz Up” comes on afterward, I will (in that same moment) proceed to work with some ass, yes, because I am bad, yes.

Being open about my sexuality, using profanity, and calling my closest girlfriends my bitches, doesn’t make me any less respectable than the next woman who does not.

I refuse to bind any part of myself to fit into anyone’s mold of what a woman in the movement should look like.

James Baldwin wasn’t wrong when he said that “to be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage,” but as a black woman, it is unhealthy for me to constantly wrap myself in a blanket of black rage.

There’s another side to blackness that is frequently overlooked, and that is black joy.

Black joy is understanding that there is necessary work to be done in the struggle for our rights, but also knowing that there is a time to laugh, to play and to be ratchet. Black Twitter beef isn’t always “a distraction,” and having fun doesn’t make me less enlightened.

This is exactly what this column will be, a safe-space for the movers, the shakers and the twerkers. I don’t claim to be all wise or all knowing, because I’m not.

I’m just here to share my opinions on blackness with you, and I hope that you’ll be open to the things I say. I also hope to hear your thoughts on the things I say.

Yours in Blackness,

A Ratchet Revolutionary

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