December 30th, 1980
The single most important aspect of this new-life-in-New-York is the opportunity to be myself. A vague statement, I know. And not easy for me to elaborate on. The point is that D.C. is an extremely structured society. One defines oneself in a variety of ways there, politically, economically, professionally. The presence of the bureaucracy in Washington provides an omnipresent system of categorization. And the sever dichotomy between the black middle class and the white professional world causes an even greater sense of identity-through-class.
New York is where thought begins. We think here for the rest of the world. Difference is valued here. For the first time in my life, I feel as if those parts of my being that are unique are my most valuable elements. Always before I have been in worlds where I tried to define myself in terms of the environment around me. Here, I am defining myself by what is going on inside of me.