I Was Featured in a Japanese Newspaper
I hate this picture.
All I could think about when I received the newspaper in the mail was why did he chose this picture? Is that how he viewed me and what I shared? I was super pro-black and passionate about what I shared and I guess he chose the image he felt matched my tone? In reality, this photo was taken after a long ass interview and I was exhausted. I was pantomiming, giving various poses, and I also smiled and laughed.
To be honest, it feels like another version of the Angry Black Woman. If you look at the other posts in this series, you'll see a distinct difference between the subject matter and tone of my interview and the others. Truthfully, a part of me is angry black people still aren't free and I'm also passionate about minimalism as a tool to help us get free.
Perhaps I'm focusing on the wrong things here.
Out of all the subjects, I was honored to be chosen to share what minimalism means to me and represent the Black Minimalists community. I was interviewed for three grueling hours and in that time I gave him the low down on the socioeconomics of being black in America, generational wealth, poverty, lack of representation in the mainstream minimalist movement, and why Black Minimalists exists.
I've always felt that Black Minimalists was something greater than I could understand, but in sharing all this with Kousuke, it really hit home for me how vital this community really is. The most important idea I think I conveyed to him and which I hope comes across in this article is that Black Minimalists is a social movement about liberation. When looking at the history of black people in the United States, I understand freedom means something different to us and this is why Black Minimalists exists.
Grateful for the opportunity.
Regardless of how the interview is perceived or what got lost in translation, I'm glad I spoke my truth and hope my interview sheds light on the power of minimalism from a social empowerment lense.
The interview took place in May 2017 at the National Postal Museum and Union Station in Washington, D.C. and was published in The Asahi Shimbun Globe on July 2, 2017. I was featured in a series along with The Minimalists, Fumio Sasaki (author of Goodbye Things), and other minimalists from around the world.
Read the full article. I must warn you Google's English translation is terrible. If you're fluent in Japanese, please read the article and tell me your thoughts.