Words: Jordan Clark/ Art: Ahmara Smith
I read that the synopsis for this mini comic is: “A first person look at being Black in America. Each choice you make has a huge impact on the rest of your day. From the clothes you wear, to how you interact with others, all these things decide whether you’ll make it to the next day.”
Welcome to America, hope you survive the experience.
Jordan Clark, writer of one of my favorite stories in the batch of Bitch Planet: Triple Features stories (and also featured in Puerto Rico Strong from Lion Forge) penned this short comic about daily life being Black in America.
“The Black Experience” is both a comfort and a stark reminder for me as I reflect on the perils of being Black in America. Just today a (non-Black) friend suggested that I move out of California upon hearing the news of the death of Nia Wilson. To which I replied that Blacks folks, especially Black women face death everywhere in this fine country, in every nook and cranny. Every corner. (It’s not a new thing historically.) I could tell him but truly, how could he know? To quote my brother Bryant, how could my friend know that every day we live past twenty-four hours, that we as Black People cheat death?
Each choice you make has a huge impact on the rest of your day.
Ahmara Smith, an award winning Atlanta-based comic artist and illustrator does marvelous work creating the visuals here. The first person perspective allows us the lens of blackness, simulated with the tell tale sign of technology: the notifications and icons that pop up. I especially like how they have adapted real life places where Black people have experienced uncomfortable moments. Such as right outside where you live. And coffee shops. You know places. Ordinary places in the world where you have to use that situational awareness that comes with being Black in America.
WHOA ITS ME!!