I spent my childhood looking at screens filled with diversity.
My favorites were starships,
Starships flying to far-off places in the galaxy, meeting far-off people of other worlds, so…
So, these so-called people weren’t even human.
And yet their lives mattered.
The mission of the starship was to explore, to explore the galaxy and,
Build solidarity all around.
All lives mattered. These starships I watched even had directives guiding these matters.
I longed to be in times and places when one’s skin didn’t matter,
Where the body one inhabited did not limit one’s aptitude, altitude or assumptions of intelligence.
On starships, any-body could be captain or engineer.
The science officer could have pointy ears, and the helmsman blue skin and tentacles.
Black skin was the least of their concerns… not like home.
But then again, looking closely at those starships,
I noticed that all the species around the galaxy were white.
I listened, and I listened carefully, as if to confirm how I saw the cosmos falsely represented.
The universal translator translated any species words into the dominant culture’s dialect.
White skin mattered.
White-skinned people were used to represent the vast majority of all people throughout the whole, entire cosmos.
Even in the 24th century, Black lives don’t matter.
Diversity was just a show.
Still, I spent hours of my life watching,
Dreaming of being my full self, somewhere, someplace else in the universe.
Somewhere, living at some time where my life mattered.
It didn’t feel like my life mattered, coming of age in 80’s/90’s Kentucky.
But watching those starships confirmed what I’d always suspected:
There is someplace for each of us, somewhere in the vast cosmos -
Even if where you are at ain’t home.