Competition year: 2004
About Neli Demireva
The Incredible Adventures of the Black People
We will make less mistakes if only we realize we are not so different
Note: The narrator in this proposal is a Utopian being.
I dreamt about a white man last night. And I have never seen a white man before. I knew he was white by his uncanny, translucent, lily-colored skin, so different from the pitch-dark, opaque epidermis of my own. Maybe he was Abraham Lincoln. I wanted to ask him what it is like to be a white man, but he turned around and sped into the darkness before I could even slightly recover from my bewilderment. A white spot slowly diminishing into the blackness of night till there was nothing of it left. And I had little more to do in the solitude of my dream but to wake up.
If you wonder why I make such a fuss of dreaming about a white man, I will just tell you that my name is Abraham Lincoln. It was so ironic of my father to name his first born child after a supposedly white man in a world full of black people. Not that I complain about it. My father takes great pride in our “originally” black ancestors, “with no artificial coats of paint on their skin, my son”, and tries to keep the memory of them alive in their vigilant descendants. One way of doing this is by collecting all kinds of stories about the ways, customs, and manners of “naturally” born blacks. The other, the more picaresque of the two is to name his children after persons, both black and white, with important contribution in the history of black people. As a result, I have a brother called Martin Luther King and a sister Rosa Parks. Abraham Lincoln being a personal favorite of my father, “as the first white man to envisage the equality of blackness and whiteness”, was allotted to my humble self. That’s how I ended up being a black man with a white name, which is not very easy when people around you cannot conceive what “whiteness” is or even imagine a man who is not black. You probably wonder, how come that there used to be white men but not any longer? Well, I have kept racking my brains about this question ever since my father first enlightened me on the full significance of my name. Though he was thoroughly engaged in contemplating the predominance of blackness to diverge his thoughts with the means of achieving it. And I was left in the dark about it. On the other hand, being too trivial and unworthy to spend time in philosophical discussions of such grand and awesome matters, I have been digging in the artifacts of the past for quite a while and now I’ve got the keys to many problematic issues although I still cannot be certain about how the white Abraham Lincoln looked like. You can’t see why this is a problem? Wait till I tell you about the times when there were still some white people left.
The year was 2015 and mankind was facing mass extermination. Frankly speaking, the Earth in 2015 had nothing in common with our world today. What is more important, the people in 2015 had even less in common with us. And maybe that is the chief reason why in 2015 mankind was preparing itself for complete extermination or rather it was preparing its own complete extermination. Yes, strangely enough, there were people who wanted to kill other people, and those other people had no way of protecting themselves except by killing the first ones plus a significant number of innocent victims that had nothing to do with the original conflict. However, the antagonistic parties used for this purpose all kinds of weapons for mass destruction and the Third World War was getting neigh without hurrying too much. People almost felt it in the air. Every night they wondered if they would see the light of day and every day they were troubled with the longing for the darkness of night they might never experience again. In one word, they were rather stupid and morbid.