It was late in the meal when I mentioned his reputation among other journalists. He held his chopsticks in his hand.
“What did they say?”
Steve McQueen is 44 years old, tall and robust; he wore a T-shirt beneath a lightweight sport jacket and dark slacks and large black-rimmed glasses. He is exacting in his ideas, and sometimes struggles to communicate exactly what he’s thinking (he has occasionally borrowed reporters’ pens and paper to help him articulate his thoughts). He is full of energy.
“That I’m difficult?” he asked.
I rattled off some other descriptions: “curt,” “combative,” “volatile,” “scornfully dismissive,” “bullish,” “arrogant.” He pondered it a bit more. He asked whether I had an idea why this reputation exists. I told him I was more interested in his. “It’s journalists getting uppity, and when I get uppity, they write this.” It was an easy caricature: They expect him to be “from the ghetto,” he said, “to behave a certain way.”
“Excuse me for saying it,” he said, “but I suppose it’s because I’m black.”
“I will teach my daughter not to wear her skin like a drunken apology.
I will tell her ‘make a home out of your body, live in yourself, do not let people turn you into a regret, do not justify yourself. If you are a disaster it is not forever, if you are a disaster you are the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen. Do not deconstruct from the inside out, you belong here, you belong here, not because you are lovely, but because you are more than that.’”—Azra.T - “Your hands are threads, your body is a canvas.” (via jazzylittledrops)
If you could choose one word to represent the centuries of bondage, the decades of terrorism, the long days of mass rape, the totality of white violence that birthed the black race in America, it would be ‘nigger.’
But though we were born in violence, we did not die there.