There’s Levels to This Shit: Understanding the Layers of Black Rage

Breaking: No indictment for killer cop in Eric Garner case.

Black rage is not a cursory resentment towards temporary situations. Black rage is not an ephemeral declaration of anti-racism. Black rage is not a momentary lapse in moral, political, economic, or social judgment.

Black rage is a durable sentiment built on centuries of racial injustice. Black rage is a dynamic emotional psyche that bridges mental health, spiritual awakening, and direct action together.

The other day, an acquaintance posted an infuriating status about how Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin should not be the martyrs for this growing movement against police brutality, racist vigilantes, and institutional racism because “evidence [simply] was not there to convince everybody.”

Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin Unworthy of Anger

From Facebook. Jesus, take the wheel.


The acquaintance then followed up with more “clear cut” examples of Black men and children who should’ve been on the forefront of national consciousness.  The selective victimization of “good” Blacks versus “bad” Blacks is just one cause of our Black rage. The belief that some Black people over others deserve gruesome death at the hands of government is viciously egregious, morally irresponsible, and ideologically violent.

But this is one of the surfaces of Black rage. Black rage is a multifaceted platform that relies on the subjectivity of the Black person. Each Black person defines their own form of Black rage based on their personal experiences and interactions. And yet, in the mainstream and public eyes, the nuances of Black individualism are whitewashed to fit into a 30 second soundbite void of depth or context.

Although every Black person experiences their rage uniquely, Black rage (for the most part) stems from the same place. It comes from the recognition of history composed of racist capitalism, the eventual realization of jarring commonalities between this history and current society, and an enduring fear of what the future of the Black race will look like.

Black rage comes from fear of being invisible, nonexistent, and erased from social consciousness and political history. Black rage comes from fear of being an unrecognizable entity; a phantom of culture eviscerated by the thoroughness of white supremacy.

James Baldwin

Black rage is justified and valid, despite many opinions which say otherwise. The refutation of Black rage stems from white fear. The system of whiteness tries to quell Black rage in order to protect and reinforce the racial hierarchy on which our society stands. That’s why talking heads on mega media outlets misrepresent Black rage with swift ignorance. Black rage is viewed from the lens of Black-on-Black crime, looting, and damage to property, and not the obvious mistruths behind such phenomena.

The system of whiteness plays on Black rage in order to embolden white fear. This sickening cycle is rooted in the historical mongrelization of the Black body and mind.

Black rage is the fascinating result of internally emotional wells of Black consciousness. When personal Blackness is realized from a spiritual standpoint, and is then transcended and codified into a political ideology, with the overall backdrop of sustainable racial and cultural impact, Black rage is born.

photo 1Arielle Newton, Editor-in-Chief. Get at me @arielle_newton. Get at us @BlkMillennials.


7 responses to “There’s Levels to This Shit: Understanding the Layers of Black Rage

  1. If each black person feels their oun form of “black” rage, why then is there such a collectively high out of wedlock birth rate in the black community? Why the high unemployment rate in the black communities? Why the high drop out rate in public school systems in black communities? Should not this perceived “black” rage you so easily write about be better served working to better the black committees and school systems? Or, is just a little easier to place all this rage and blame on racist capitalism.


    • “perception” of rage Seven?

      Hmmmm… The “perception” that my RAGE is not real is your desire that I feel and experience things in the same way as you do. Your sense of entitlement is showing. This entitlement you feel in judging single moms, the unemployed, and kids who are “drop outs” only illuminates the racist capitalist structure.

      No one black writes “easily” about racism. It’s emotionally draining, hard work to have to follow the money. It’s not a hobby to fight hate. And it’s not about blame. Calling out what is wrong in order to effect change is not “blaming”. It is service to community.

      Garner was killed in a chokehold by the NYPD and the cop was not indicted despite the clear case on camera. The system is broken and that’s something to be enraged about.

      If you’re not angry, Seven, you’re not awake.

      I fully support Arielle.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well thank you. The feeling is mutual, Arielle.

        Have you checked out Claudia Rankine’s book “Citizen” (an American Lyric) or any of the excerpts from the book on line? If not, I think you’ll really appreciate what she’s doing with her writing and how she is gathering real stories.

        Most of the work is longer but she wrote a Haiku after she went to Ferguson:

        Because white men can’t
        police their imaginations
        black men are dying

        I’ve only just discovered her work but she’s been steadily compiling it and it definitely backs up what you have been expressing and what should be expressed.


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