A few days after I arrived as a refugee in America in 1985, when I was 18, relatives already living here came to take me sightseeing. My mother and I had resettled in New York, and naturally my relatives wanted to show me the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Instead, I wanted to see Harlem.
I had come of age in revolutionary Iran and was eager to see the America that the revolutionaries had peddled to my generation. In their Manichaean terms, there was one “evil-doing” America, dubbed the Great Satan, whose effigies they burned with pyromaniacal passion. The other was Black America, where African Americans languished under white rule, just as Iranians had suffered under the monarchy.
The Washington Post, July 9, 2020