Skip to main content

Black Body: Rereading James Baldwin's “Stranger in the Village” | The New Yorker

“What the world does to you, if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do to yourself. You become a collaborator, an accomplice to your own murderers, because you believe the same things they do.”

– James Baldwin


The United States society has never been colorblind. 



Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that college admissions programs can merely consider an applicant’s explanation of how their race influenced their character, and how that influence would have a concrete effect on the university… However, a student “must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual — not on the basis of race,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in his opinion. 

The majority effectively overruled its 2003 decision, which held that race may play a limited role in college admissions. While the talk has been mostly about the general elimination of affirmative action, this statement is far from true. The Supreme Court effectively struck down RACE-CONSCIOUS affirmative action. Legacy and (the right) last name still forms a large part of college admissions and were not struck down or ruled unconstitutional.

And guess where race-conscious affirmative action was NOT eliminated? The military. So….. race can be utilized to ensure Black people can equally fight (and die) for the same country that doesn’t want them to have equitable access to higher education? Make it make sense.  


The only spots Black students take are the spots that Black students rightfully deserved in the first place. 


Community Healing Network’s 7 Keys to Emotional Emancipation are affirmations of the individual and communal work that needs to be completed and they provide conscious reminders of what we must understand, what we must tell ourselves, what we must seek out, and what we must do to liberate ourselves. These keys also serve as sources of support in challenging moments… Moments like these.


Each key unlocks an AFFIRMATIVE ACTION


Key #1: African Spiritual Origins – We recognize that as children of God, our power – personal and communal – is boundless. Affirmative Action: AWARENESS – I awaken to the reality that something all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-mighty is with me. 

Key #2: Historical Moments & Movements – The history of our people started long before the horror of our enslavement. Affirmative Action: DEFIANCE – I am inspired to defy the lie.

Key #3: African Cultural Origins – Who we are and what we do reflect African cultural wisdom.  Affirmative Action: SELF-REFLECTION – I make a deep and honest examination of the effect of the lie on my life. I do the work of Sankofa retrieving cultural principles for guidance.

Key #4: Human Development & Learning – Character and choices can limit or build community and our relationships with each other. Affirmative Action: ACCOUNTABILITY – With compassion, we accept our humanity, our shortcomings, and our choices while also knowing that we, and our community, can always be “mo better.”

Key #5: Ethics & Methods – We take responsibility for managing emotions, thoughts and actions.  Affirmative Action: RESTORATION – I awaken to the reality that something all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-mighty is with me.

Key #6: Our African Cultural Imperative – The collective/the community, is the basis for what is good, normal and right about us.  Affirmative Action: CONNECTION – Having set myself free, I embrace the path of Harriet Tubman committed to the well-being of my family and community.

Key #7: Spirit, Spirituality & Spiritness – Our strength comes from our spirituality and our spiritual connection to one another.  Affirmative Action: MODEL AND SERVE – Spiritually attuned I do the work of Harriet Tubman modeling the truth in all my affairs and carrying the message to Defy the Lie and Embrace the Truth to others of African ancestry.


The time has come. We can no longer expect the colonizers, our captors, to simultaneously be our liberators. It’s time to take action. Affirm one another. Affirm your sister. Affirm your brother. Affirm… yourself. This is OUR affirmative action. 


To learn more about how CHN’s 7 Keys to emotional emancipation unlock OUR affirmative actions, register here for our next Emotional Emancipation circle.