Dreams in which one is a racial minority / Tale of The Silver Throat Guard

Every so often I will have dreams noticeably dominated by black folks, which will make me wonder how much research has been done in the area of race and dreaming.

Last night’s dream began with me at a bar with a friend who is black (or really mixed race but dark skinned) — I light a cigarette and sit at a stool beside him at the bar…

Next Fragment: On a Street Corner

Next remembered bit: I’m on a street corner in an urban area among a crowd of much younger black people, younger than teenagers most of them, sitting on a stone bench, when up comes a thin older black man with a hat and, most noticeably of all, a kind of silver throat guard. The kids back away from the stone bench, clearly regarding this man as a threat. For a moment I hesitate and remain seated, but then I do what the kids do —  get up from the bench and back off.

The Dream’s beginning

A final thing, which was actually the first part sequentially: I was loaning somebody some money, an act which pretty clearly evoked an incident from the preceding day, when a (black) African guy I know, under sort of annoying circumstances, asked me for a loan, though in the dream it was somebody else, race unknown, and I was enthusiastic about wanting to help.

In sum, this wasn’t a “good” or “bad” dream;  wasn’t especially pleasing or frightening or with much in the way of emotional content; the only thing that was interesting about it was that everyone was black (also male) and I didn’t realize that until I woke up.

UPDATE: The Silver Throat Guard

On reflection, the “silver throat guard” could very well be a mask which someone was wearing under their chin. (I do have to deal with issues of people wearing/ not wearing masks and this might have to do with that.) Which also explains the children backing away — backing away from the person not wearing their mask.

Also, the “thin-ness” of the old black man recalls something that happened the preceding day. I had seen an African man (not the one asking for money) whom I hadn’t seen in years, and he struck me as dramatically not just thinner but smaller since I last saw him, as if he’d been seriously ill — to the extent I probably wouldn’t have recognized him if it were not for other markers. (This man was wearing a mask, however, another reason I’d almost failed to recognize him.)

FURTHER UPDATE:  I understand this dream now

As I think about this dream further, it occurs to me that the guy who asked me for money could also be described as an old, tall thin black man, and he was wearing his mask around his throat when he asked for the money! Interesting! This dream is clearly about my unease at lending him money/ him not wearing his mask. 

Perhaps the racial issues are not as pertinent as I imagined, though one point of interest along these lines is that, though Africans seemed to have inspired the dream, the dream was filled with African-Americans. Also: the “children” in the dream were the four people present when the man asked me for money, two of whom were actual children but none of whom were black.  Final obvious point: when one is sometimes a racial minority, it is likely one will occasionally dream that one is.

%d bloggers like this: