What is the threat of my fist raised?
What do you see when you see this black skin curled into a rounded figure, looming over the earth?
Do you fear me because you aint me?
I need answers.
Black Fist, White Fist.
West Point is investigating a photo of black women who recently graduated with their fist in power. When I first saw the picture, I was filled with so much love and admiration. “Look at them! Go head!” I was elated to see these beautiful black women carrying on a tradition of black service in the United States military. Seeing those 16 girls proud and powerful made me swoon.
Their fists is seen as a threat. They are being investigated and vilified for using a cultural reference. The meaning of the fist has always symbolized a militant stance, an anti violence union of fingers clenched together. By its very nature it is powerful. You begin to imagine what that fist can do. Who and for why it represents.
Let’s be real right now. This is 2016 and black people are still oppressed. The prison industrial complex, police brutality, heart disease and so much more still are present in the black community. The reason why Gloria and Dorothy, Tommie John and Peter raised their fists was to tell the system no, to be one.
The fist is political, but so is the United States military. These womens’ lives, like all other lives, are created by intersections. We are not silos. We exists within other existences. They are black, women, college graduates, West Point graduates, and military servicewomen. Their very existence within the military can be viewed as conflicted. Let us not forget that black people have served in EVERY war since the American Revolution. When they returned home from serving their country they were discriminated against. In recent years there has been a decline, but black men and women continue to serve. These women are a reminder of this powerful legacy of patriotism despite bigotry.
Their fists are powerful. Their fists are proud. Their fists are arrogant. Their fists are beautiful. Power to the People
Black Power simply means: Look at me, I’m here. I have dignity. I have pride. I have roots. I insist, I demand that I participate in those decisions that affect my life and the lives of my children. It means that I am somebody. – Whitney M. Young