Nikki Giovanni’s Mars comment out of this world

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After reading the article covering the lecture presented by poet Nikki Giovanni, I was disturbed by her comment “The trip to Mars can only be understood by Black Americans”. What? The last time I checked there are no Black Americans alive today that remember being put on a boat and shipped to America. So how can Black Americans be the only ones who can understand a trip to Mars? Anyone with a pulse can imagine exploring a new planet. Does a refugee who was forced out of their home and country not understand what it’s like to have to move to the unknown and establish a new home? Does a child who has to move to a new home and/or city not understand the fear of a new place? Does an unemployed person who has to move to find work not understand what it’s like to not know where their next home or meal will be? As someone who had to move to another country after graduating college, I understand more than some people, no matter what color they are, what it’s like to move into and live in the unknown without even knowing the home language. Miss Giovanni’s comment was one-sided, ethnocentric, and just plain off base. Or should I say planet?