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chewbacca was the blackest part of “The Force Awakens”

By Cyrée Jarelle Johnson

Black excitement is danger. We have seen the other side of optimism for so long. Feels like fiction. Put your feet up on that dashboard because here comes the F U T U R E! Wow! Chewbacca was the blackest part of The Force Awakens. Fucked Kylo Ren’s shit up over his nigga Solo. Millennium Falcon with that white boy so Homeboys in Outer Space. When we colonize the stars, everyone will be beige, white folks sometimes say, or orange. White people in Chalmette are orange & I’ll never forget it. 2050 or 2040 or 2020. Chewbacca was the blackest part of The Force Awakens. Always moaning & never understood. Always hunted & never going home.

Fin could barely hold a lightsaber or even a gun. Always inept & always ready to run. Lando Calrissian. Gambling or picking up trash. Whatever. Steal a black man’s ride. Look! Steals leather jacket. Drapetomania & Rascality & you can’t trust that coon. Chewbacca was the blackest part of The Force Awakens, because black danger is excitement. Pickaninnies escape the busy jaws of the tiger only sometimes and are sometimes chomped through by each crocodile, or tasered by droids, or pummeled by batons for no reason at all. Or snuffed like poisoned roaches at the local AME Church or shot down in the street and left to rot in the high red sun like crushed possum. Raccoon. And I am just too tired. Too vengeful to go anywhere anymore.




Listen as Cyrée Jarelle Johnson reads "chewbacca was the blackest part of The Force Awakens."

Added: Friday, May 15, 2020  /  Used with permission.
Cyrée Jarelle Johnson
Photo by J.D. Stokely.

Cyrée Jarelle Johnson is a librarian and writer from Piscataway, New Jersey. They hold a MS in Library and Information Science from Drexel University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. He is the author of two books, SLINGSHOT (2019) and How Greek Immigrants Made America Home (2018).

Cyrée’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Boston Review, Rewire News, The Root, and MOTHERBOARD/Vice. They have given speeches and lectures at The White House, TEDxColumbia University, Brown University, The University of Pennsylvania, community organizations, churches, festivals, and conferences throughout the United States.

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