The John Crow (Jamaican). The Corbeau (Trinbagonian). The Vulture! 

Exiting my house, I see one on top of the huge black Rhino water tank. It’s quenching its thirst, the source of which is a puddle of water settled on top of the tank.  Initially, I am not attracted to observe it or to take a pic.  Then, I come to my senses.  Why not?  What if it was an American bald eagle, a parrot or parakeet, or another multi-coloured bird?  Why am I not initially drawn to this bird? Because I am programmed to think of it as ugly and unattractive. Who determines the ugliness or beauty of a bird? 

I arrested my prejudice, retrieved my phone and recorded it as it quenched its thirst. 

God, the Creator of all animals, provides for it – this perceived unattractive and ugly looking bird. This scavenger beast that’s associated with dead animals, despicable garbage dumps and rubbish. 

But, “God’s way is not our way. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts.  As far as the heavens are from the earth, so are God’s thoughts far from ours” (Isaiah 55: 8-9).  Hence, God provides for all creatures, notwithstanding human’s prejudice against some. 

Don’t we transfer this prejudice to our fellow brothers and sisters!  Those who boast a similar skin complexion to the vulture we despised.  Whether they are black Africans, Black Rohingya Muslims (Bangladesh and Myanmar), Black Brazilians, Black Caribbean, Black Americans, or Black Aboriginal Australians. 

We cherry picked the universal significance of the colour black –  evil, fear, badness, inferior, “less than”, no good – and use it to poison our thinking of black people and black animals.

Black also represents mystery, strength, seriousness, power and authority.  The artists tell us that the colour black is needed for all other colours to have depth and variation of hue.

Black! Blackness! Let’s transform our thinking of whatever or whomever is black. Let’s honour the black vulture, the black person and blackness.

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