Title text reads "Black people Never Leave by Tyresse Bracy (he/him)"

Or they rarely do, especially those that grew up on the dirt roads of the south.  The same southern towns that had one package store where you purchased your gas, groceries, and fried chicken in one stop.  Shit, sometimes you could buy your clothes there, as well.

 

I used to hide the fact that I’m southern born.

 

Lets be honest, most humans of the world think the south to be the throwaway landmass of fools, rednecks, and cousin fuckers.  And it do be that.  Let’s keep it a buck!

 

However, the south is where the first bits of genius happened for the U.S.  (Well…after they stole all of the Africans from Africa to build an entire nation for free and then left us to die….but let’s not go there. I digress.)  The genius of the south is that everything the world holds so dear originated with us. Rock, country, clues, all of the benchmarks of American culture are southern.  And by default, the south is also the creator of hip hop culture.

 

The biggest culture.  That this world loves so very much.

 

The thing is, being the key holder of a black body is complex for numerous reasons, colorism for starters. I grew up Nigerian black, with nappy/kinky hair.  Into a family of black Americans half mixed with Native American blood.  So my siblings hold hostage 360 waves on their skulls and bronze skin.  And I…I was and am my mother’s chocolate baby

 

You get picked on for this.

 

You get shit on for this.

 

You try to wash off your skin for this.

 

At 5 or so, my mother began to prep me for a racist world.  At 5 I was learning how not to be killed by a random white male on those dirt roads, or a random white male sheriff on those dirt roads.  Both wereand are equally dangerous in the eyes of Black culture.  This was my life.  Learning how to negotiate war, while still figuring out how walk properly.  I was and am my mother’s chocolate baby.

The darker the baby, the more dangerous.

Tyresse Bracy, a black man with a septum piercing and short hair, poses shirtless in front of an all black background. The photograph is black and white. He wears light color beads around his neck.

However, again, I digress.The complexities of my continued trauma also stem from my ability to see spirits. This has always been a thing in my life.  A well-hidden aspect of my life.  So as not to be lumped in the Facebook groups of the Urban Outfitter crystal buyers, I simply never tell a soul.  No competition at all to be “more spiritual than the next,” but we ain’t the same.

Ghosts have always been part of my existence; when I rest, on romantic dates, hanging with friends.  I see the energy they bring with them and that energy that surrounds them….and I just will and deal; I accept it.

 

My guy, I grew up in Alabama and nobody wants to hear about some lil chocolateboymanwitch that dances with poltergeist.  That equates to beatings.  To the bible.  A preacher that “heals and exercises you” but also steals the rest of yo momma’s money for his services.  No thanks.

Black people never leave…

 

And I left.  Frolicking now through these streets of Europe for the better part of 10 years.  Even with all of my artistic and creative accomplishments that I bring my family, my bloodline, there are members of my family that still question my Blackness.

 

The last I was challengedwas with the question, “Why Europe, why not Atlanta?”.

 

Well in short, the answer is, “Why not?”

 

The loaded response, the crafty, sassy, well-pondered and reflected upon answer is…I need to speak to the man that holds the keys to this very white owned and imbalanced plain of existence.  And that NIGGA don’t live in Georgia.  The Earth must be unearthed at the source of ancestral trauma, and this AIN’T in Georgia, neither! In Europe I’m making Black SOUTHERN art.  Speaking for the lives stolen from many on the council of the millionaire art dealers. Telling and talking truth to them; truth that they thought I forgot when I signed these contracts.

 

This. Ain’t. In. GEORGIA.

 

It is enough to just be an esteemed creator in Black form, and clout is cute, but Im going for BROKE; for Basquiat, Saul Williams, Mos Def, I want a Bracy-Toscani estate.  FUCK the nonsense.  And I want it where I want to fucking have it!  I want it in the face of her majesty that broke my ancestor’s backs and forgot why she’s able to live “upscale.”

 

The first man through the door.  I am the first man through the door in my family.  A body amassed with arrows, riddled with bullets.  My hands hold my own blood, so that those who share the blood that runs in me will never have to unlearn the things I learned on those Alabama dirt roads.

 

SOMETIMES BLACK PEOPLE LEAVE

Tyresse Bracy, a black man with short hair, dances on a concrete sidewalk in a city with a green shirt and black jeans on. There are bicycles parked in the background and speaker behind him.