Panthers In The Bardo

An introduction to a series of essays on the black experience in America


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An Introduction To The Bardo

“I don’t know what white people see when they look at the Negro anymore. But, I do know very well - that whatever he was looking at, it wasn’t me. It wasn’t me. It was something he was afraid of. It was something ti which he was attrracted, or even which he found repulsive - but it wasn’t me. I was not a man. This image, has something to do with a absolutely bankrupt morality that we are all suffering.” - James Baldwin, 1960

Before we get started - I want to reiterate a few points to you all.

Black Men Book Club is built on its tenets. It’s our foundation.

We’ve received praise, hate, racism, banning, ridicule, and respect.

But I want to be clear at why I, Jordan Coin Jackson, dared to start a club like this.

There are many external reasons I could rattle off about why it was founded.

It was the Black Lives Matter Movement that spurred me to think of the name.

Or a dissolution with Obama’s administration and conversations with him while he was in power that left me ungrateful for him.

Maybe it was the people around me, the successful black men in tech, who wouldn’t hesitate to read any and everything to master the world of Silicon Valley.

All of those sound nice, but honestly, it’s all not true.

I started Black Men Book Club for the little boy in me.

The one that was shy to fighting, who avoided conflict.

Who was praying for a way to live in the world outside of the violence I saw, and the emotional abuse I experienced.

I didn’t make Black Men Book Club to be the next Mark Zuckerberg.

I made Black Men Book Club so young boys and young men could look into a space and see a reflection of a possible future that was endless through the simple act of reading.

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Our next three newsletters will be titled Panthers In The Bardo, and was inspired by two books - Lincoln in the Bardo and Collective Essays, by James Baldwin.

I’ll leave you here with the introduction and an invitation.

I’m going to be opening up our clubhouse and spend some time in it. I don’t have any set dates, but you should check us out, and we’ll update you so we can chat about books, blackness, and manhood.

Anyway, here’s a snippet of the upcoming essays. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Bardo /ˈbärdō/ (in Tibetan Buddhism) a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length according to a person's conduct in life and manner of, or age at, death.

In America, where everything is for sale, the protractive nature of justice hopes to recoup that pain with lady justice.

The hottest commodity has always been blackness. It has been bought in sold for free at one point, with lost generations whose souls dance on the waves of the Atlantic.

Some of African descent sell their own blackness for a higher price nowadays. Sometimes for millions if not billions of dollars.

Some of white decent stole blackness, appropriated it, chatted it, and marketed it as their own. And some Africans and whites work together to create a caricature of the beast. One that may be the most profitable of all the ways of capital markets.

Black people created the entertainment industry. Long before the Hollywood sign was risin from the pavement, long before California was a state.

We don’t have all the data for an exact date; the greatest entertainment monopoly started on July 1st, 1776.

Thanks for reading, Check us out on Instagram, leave a comment, or a like to keep the convo going.

And most importantly, keep reading.