We, beautifully flawed humans that can neither tolerate a world order that, in thinking we are worthy of its oppression, is beneath us nor wait idly by as it consumes itself, are headed towards the lands filled with the glorious black light of the power contained in the ocean of human imagination. We will not merely content ourselves to observe the effects of its absence.
How empowering would if feel to Black men to get our sense of human validation from emotionally supporting our families [broadly defined] rather than anxiously trying to game a system founded in our bondage in order to support them financially? Imagine what our communities might look like if we supported Black women and Black gender-non-conforming folx in transforming leadership and the workplace as Black men and gender-non-conforming folx transformed the home?
Some nights, after I force myself disconnect and I try to sleep, I am struck with the after images of all the disparate thoughts and emotions and data points of the day. Images of Black Lives Matter protestors, refugees from Syria, bombs in Beirut, body bags in Paris and the occasional loving messages and words of support. As a Black Lives matter organizer and artist, I am constantly concerned with state of “the movement.” At the same time, I see and empathize with my Muslim comrades who feel a similar, but perhaps even more omnipresent and ill defined, uneasiness. Flashes of protests, mass arrests, unlawful detainments and police states constantly mix with shared stories, laughter and organizing pot luck’s in my mind’s eye.
To be Black in America, is to be the victim of an unending horror story with a multi-cultural peanut gallery more concerned with why you chose to run upstairs than the fact that an unkill-able white man is stalking you.
ASK YOURSELF! Am I A Nigger? Am I A Nigger? Am I A Nigger? And if the answer is yes? Don't be afraid to show it! Cause it's the Nigger in you that makes you BLACK! ...Once you learn to hate it... An acoustic dialogue on respectability politics, the diversity of Black self … Continue reading Am I A Nigger?
Black Joy is a transformative force. It is a visceral, deeply embodied reminder of the precious euphoria of our humanity. It is the source of Black resilience which is itself the wellspring of Black Liberation. #BlackJoySundays are a supportive place we can be affirmed in our Blackness, fellowship with other gorgeous Black people and discuss some of the racial stress we experience. Yet above all, it is space where we cultivate a shared sense of Black joy. This is a space for Black people, which means ALL Black people.
At the end of the day, policy solutions cannot bring Black Liberation, nor can anti-oppression trainings. Both tactics can merely give us space to envision and articulate alternatives. Ultimately, we must create new co-operative systems and new models of social interactions that respect the inherent dignity of Black people. We must limit the power of the state to direct our lives, which means that Black communities and communities in solidarity with Black liberation must take responsibility for solving our own problems. We cannot ultimately rely on the police to make us safe or social workers and psychologist to make us whole. We must take care of our neighbors and empower our communities. We must teach each other and learn from each other new models of being our best, most gorgeous, most lovingly empathetic selves.
Reflections On Being A Leader in a Leaderful Movement Rape Culture is real. It is omnipresent. It is destroying all of our movements. I don’t know how to start this essay. I don’t really know what to say or how to say it so I’m going to be real and raw and honest. I … Continue reading Call Me in Until You Need to Call Me Out
The goal of this week is to be intentional about telling the Black women in our lives that we love them. The goal of this week is to spend some time celebrating the Black women who created meaning, value and joy for our human existence. The goal of this week is to call-in all of us, including myself, who have sat on the sidelines for too long. The purpose of this week is to create a space to love.
I want to tell all the Black women in my life, my mother, sisters, aunts and friends that I love you. You are all phenomenal people who have given me more than I can articulate. Despite what the world may tell you, despite the constant messaging that you are ugly or worthless or less than, you are beautiful and powerful beyond measure. The more I am blessed with the presence of such intelligent, wise, creative, and wonderful Black Women, the more I realize how right my friend and gifted organizer Omolara Williams was when she said that “Black Women are magic.” Those of us used to dwelling in the darkness of our own insecurity often cannot admit your beauty because for us your radiance is near blinding.