[By: Bro. Yao (Hoke S. Glover III) and Dr. Valerie Prince]
Instead, if we are to articulate notions of blackness that are not trapped in the good vs. bad dichotomy we must move outside of English to find an alternative system of codifying our experiences. Consider as an alternative the paradigm of "black" and "white" found in the Yin and Yang symbol. The connection between polarities implied by the diagram is worthy of he Black writer's study. The Yin and Yang symbol is a circle comprised of black and white in equal measure, separated by a complex border, with a smaller circle of each within the heart of the other. Here, the binary opposites are inextricably linked and swirling around each other in balance
Black in the Taoist framework symbolizes Yin energy. Yin represents the dark, shadowy, passive, feminine force. Yin power is also rooted in gentleness, nurturing and corresponds with water, which according to the Tao Teh Ching is the natural element that corresponds to the great man and benefits all things.
When we return to the work of the African American knowledge broker, reading black responses to captivity from a yin perspective--the framework offers an alternative way of dealing with root issues of self esteem, disenfranchisement, action, and struggle in our culture and literature. With the notion of Black Yin, one can investigate power cultivation from a liberating, alternative perspective.