This paragraph showed up in Kiese Laymon’s title essay from his collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America precisely at the moment I needed it to:
This isn’t an essay or a woe-is-we narrative about how hard it is to be a black boy in America. This is a lame attempt at remembering the contours of slow death and life in America for one black American teenager under Central Mississippi skies. I wish I could get my Yoda on right now and sift all this into a clean sociopolitical pull-quote that shows supreme knowledge and absolute emotional transformation, but I don’t want to lie.
Would that every essay took such a step. You can read the whole essay here.