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Reflection on I left My Heart in Skaftafell

Published onOct 26, 2019
Reflection on I left My Heart in Skaftafell

I left my heart in Skaftafell. In this world, anti-Black racism still exists in a way that makes people want to relocate. Not just to be exempt from it, but to be alone. I looked up when this was first published, and it was 2004. This really surprised me because I saw so many parallels to 2014, 2016, and 2019. In 2014, Michael Brown Jr. was killed by a police officer in Fuergeson, Mo. This sparked the Movement for Black Lives. As a result, an action was created to call attention to the killings of Black people in America by police officers, security officers, or self-appointed vigilantes. The action is called Black Brunch, and in one of the chants, participants note that a Black person is killed, on average, every 28 days, by one of the people listed above. In this story, the main character talks about his racist dreams occurring about every 28 days.

The desire to flee to another country reminded me of the Trump’s election in 2016. There was a lot of talk amongst Black people about getting passports and leaving the country. (I’m actually interested in finding out if there was an actual increase in numbers). The intent wasn’t to flee anti-Black racisim, because it exists everywhere, but to go some place where it would be more tolerable.

Lastly, this world was very familiar to me, when the character didn’t feel the African people had any allegiance to him. This is an ongoing conversation amongst people of the African diaspora. Students across college campuses can tell you what it’s like to be Black, but not feel represented by other groups of Black students. For this reason you may see students organize in separate student groups such as Black Student Union, African Student Association, Afro-Carribean Club, and Afro-LatinX club, all on the same campus.

The only thing that stood out to me in this world, was the troll. I’m still not sure how to interpret it. The troll hunted the man, and eventually they both turned to stone together, and I’m not sure what to make of it.

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