Trauma is Not Our Name: On the Epitaphs and Eulogies of Black Life

December 7, 2019

Why don’t we ever know Queen and Slim’s names until they’re dead?

The filmmakers decided that this was imperative for the audience to envision themselves as Queen and Slim. In never referring to those titles or their given names (Angela Johnson and Ernest Hinds), this was an intentional way to allow for voyeurs to cosplay this fight for freedom. But why would we need to imagine ourselves within this particular Black experience more than the need to value that all of our experiences cannot be mimicked, puppeteered, or paralleled? Are Angela and Ernest’s experiences something that cannot be unique to them and only them? Is it possible to revere who they are as individuals before we decide to wear their skin and consume their flesh?

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