Let's imagine for a moment that you've met the love of your life at an Afropunk festival or at Uncle Bobbie's Coffee & Books in Philly or at a Caribbean Carnival: It's incumbent on both parties to recognize that there are competing interests that will either mold the relationship into a cultural fusion of love -OR- melt it down to something unrecognizable.
The ironic identity politics of body art in this country is that it's seen as a white thing even though it adorned the bodies of our ancestors and those of aboriginal people all over the world since long before their colonizers arrived to brand them with new far more insoluble markings.
Most of us accept this myth as a matter of convenience—a necessary evil.
I believe, however, that the pan-African goal to increase solidarity and dignity among people of African descent must include a deeper understanding of the ethnolinguistic, cultural, and regional differences.
Narratives as elastic and dynamic as the bodies they're documented on.
Entire paragraphs of colonized narrative are redacted by the scars of engineered erasure, leaving even our dreams edited by white oppression.
In the West, as well as in South Africa, which in many ways is still an appendage of the West in terms of its value systems, tattoos have almost always been the chosen exoskeleton of white dominated subcultures like biker, metal and punk scenes.