George Washington. Thomas Jefferson. Christopher Columbus.
These are just a few of the white men history remembers favorably–despite their unfavorable actions.
Washington was a slave owner.
Jefferson was a rapist.
Columbus was a thief.
Yet, the date of their earthly arrival remains a national celebration. Those of us subject to the contemporary enslavement enabled by their past endeavors, are relieved of our civic duties and subjected to remember a history that has omitted the collective contributions of black people.
Darren Seals is a name that will not make the history books. Nope. He will not even qualify for a footnote. “His” story, is and always will be about “him,” not us.
Darren Seals, like so many other buried narratives, fulfilled a collective purpose despite his inevitable assassination. Seals holds hands with ancestors also gone too soon in fighting for what our counterparts are granted without request.
Celebrating his life, amongst others who won’t make the news or any other mainstream publication is an imperative step in telling and celebrating our story.
Darren Seals is our story.
A Rose From Concrete
As articulated by white media outlets Seals was “anti” police violence and “anti” gun violence. These labels are deliberately inaccurate and an oversimplification of the leadership Seals embodied. Black leadership is resonant for what it stands for, not what it stands against. Seals stood for a pro-blackness, which is why he is physically absent today.
His disposition reminiscent of the late Malcolm X, and the late George Jackson, reflects an unapologetic masculinity that has seen the worst our white supremacist society has to offer, but instead of curling over in defeat, places courage where he could have placed fear. A courage that afforded him a confidence to strive for the best for his people.
Racial in justice was not just what he spoke about but a catalyst for his actions. Seals understood that being tied to the bottom of the ship (ie, selling drugs and doing jail time), though unconventional, reveals the makings of a man, or as seen in instances like Angela Davis, Assata Shakur and Joan Little, the makings of a woman as well. Like Malcolm X, and George Jackson, he is remarkable because he took what was designed to emasculate him and used it to cultivate a leadership that would transcend mortality.
A Man of the Cause
Seals’ leadership came to a national head upon the murder of black teen Michael Brown. Seals was one of the first activists on the scene after Micheal Brown was murdered by Darren Wilson in 2014. His brother’s keeper, Seals remained dedicated to exposing the anti blackness that turned the what should be the men of tomorrow into young men of yesterday. He knew that the same system that murdered the black man refusing to bow down to white insecurity was the same system that appointed the weak and effeminate to represent our collective. The most consistent depiction of anti-black violence of is the demand for our collective diffidence in the face of destruction. We are to smile as the breathe leaves our body. We are to forget the bleeding wounds of our brothers, our sisters, and ourselves to make peace in a land that has never granted us such a liberty.
Instead we are coerced to become preoccupied with false realities. To be overly concerned with money. Described as a “material reality” by the systemized, money is seen as essential in overcoming white supremacy. You can not however, overcome by playing within the parameters of a system. The pseudo leadership of our contemporary climate, though oftentimes inconspicuous, remains controlled by money. Money composes the strings that orchestrate the actions of those that seem immersed in black liberation.
Seals saw through all of this. He could not be bought. His fearlessness was deliberate and conspicuous—frightening those who needed his fear like air to breathe.
They feared his fearlessness would inspire others. That his ability to unify was too much like that of his physically deceased ancestors.
A white supremacist society needs the black man to subscribe to its supremacy, whether through money, mind power, or motive. Seals had no alignment to any of these demands, so his elimination was inevitable. His elimination, in its gruesome ambiguity, occurred as it did to scare those left behind into a paralyzing submission.
The masses were to extract that he who strikes the match goes up in flames. Yet the consciousness that Seals cultivated, enables the black collective to see that death is seen more in the conventionally living than the ancestors who have transitioned. The well-paid black puppet is more dead than Malcom X has ever been in the fifty three years since his departure. Seals and his forefathers and foremothers, illustrate that the evolution of the revolution is thwarted in belief that an act of anti-blackness can kill what it did not, and could never create.
Darren Seals, like the countless courageous figures that come before him, illustrate that the revolutionary never dies, simply because he or she cannot.
Thug Radical, A Myth Dispelled
In a world where discussion of free thought is more frequent that actual free thought, Seals’ activism and assassination, teaches the world that there is nothing free about free thought. Though epitomizing what a free thinker is and should be, Seals and others like him, are almost always excluded from such labeling. Instead, they are disregarded as a sort of “thug radical” that is not to be taken seriously.
Darren Seals and the pro-black male prototype are depicted as what is wrong with America— displaced as what a liberal agenda seeks to “fix.” They are the young boys with “too much energy,” ‘too much pride” but not enough education and white male mimicry to deem them predictable and powerless enough for recognition.
Darren Seals and the pro-black male prototype are what our oppressors perceive as those who need to be chopped down, their growth stunted so that they only grow to be two feet tall psychologically. This is why males like Kanye West and Donald Glover are revered symbols of free thought. They are representative of those bought by the white man and sold to a collective who finds reparations in what appears to be an acquired visibility of their own reflection.
The pseudo consummation of black success in a white world, breeds compliance to a poisonous system. In short, their “free” though provides “free” labor to a pattern of white ideology. Darren Seals actualizes free thought, illustrating free thought is a cost solely paid with what so few are willing to give up, despite never truly experiencing—life.
To Die for the Dark Race
So few are willing to live for blackness, even fewer are willing to die for blackness and black people. Darren Seals, like Micah Johnson and Gavin Long, are contemporary manifestations of a rare black identity that has sustained our collective for centuries. These young men lived how they transitioned—for black people.
Their contribution to our story is in the spirit of ancestors who are also largely nameless, but resonant beyond recognition.
Their spirits are flames that while temperate like life, burn eternally in the hearts and minds they inflame in impact.
Darren Seals, may you rest in power.
May you revel in the peace you gave your collective simply by existing.
Black Power ❤