Slowly Becoming

By

Roxane Gay speaks out on ‘black ambition’ at VQR:

I have come to realize how much I have, throughout my life, bought into the narrative of this alluring myth of personal responsibility and excellence. I realize how much I believe that all good things will come if I—if we—just work hard enough. This attitude leaves me always relentless, always working hard enough and then harder still. I am ashamed that sometimes a part of me believes we, as a people, will be saved by those among us who are exceptional without considering who might pay the price for such salvation or who would be left behind.

Her essay peers into what it is that we owe ourselves, what society does (and doesn’t) owe us, and whether or not it’s even possible for the self to speak for the whole.


Bryan Washington has written for Puerto Del Sol, Ninth Letter, and Midnight Breakfast, among others; he's also the recipient of a Houstonia Fellowship. He lives around New Orleans. More from this author →