For a long time we had to play by a certain rulebook – but now the rules have changed, and I’m still processing it
How does it feel to be black in America right now? First, I wonder, do I capitalize the “B”? Is that grammatically correct? More to the point, as an element of style, a choice, does it prove something to you or to me if I don’t? I confess I don’t know any more. These are the petty games that play on my mind as a black American.
I cannot speak for all black people, of course. We are not a monolith; you seem to understand this by now. I can only speak for myself – as a black writer. That experience, at least, I know. Instead of worrying about the white man who might murder me in my own home, or on my morning run, what preys on me in the night is how I constructed the sentence as I replay the day, if it was adequately punctuated in its disavowal of racist oppression.