**This poem was composed based on my reflections during a workshop called "Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine" at the Brooklyn Zen Center this weekend. ** stone silence warmed by depth of earth firmness beating heart rested softly on steel He held me in honor caressed me against the grain of manhood … Continue reading Sacred Masculinities : A Poem
“Identity politics are political arguments that focus upon the interest and perspectives of groups with which people identify. Identity politics includes the ways in which people's politics may be shaped by aspects of their identity through loosely correlated social organizations. Examples include social organizations based on race, class, religion, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, ideology, nationality, … Continue reading A Brief Defense of Identity Politics and Intersectionality
Two weeks ago Omolara Williams McCallister and I spoke at a regional UU conference at All Soul's that was centered around Black Lives Mater and racial justice. Also speaking that day was Alonzo Smith who is a professor of Black history. I decided to turn our talks into a podcast but unfortunately have been super … Continue reading Emerging Analysis, Relationshit and Transformative Love
**Unlike most essays on the well examined life, this essay is in response to a series of specific conversations in which specific questions arose. This essay is written for Standing Up For Racial Justice’s DC chapter as part of our own going conversations about rethinking the white-allyship role and journey. Specifically, this is part … Continue reading The Case For Inter-Personal Reparations
I'm slowly starting to realize the damage that non-intersectional feminism has done to my thinking and my intimate relationships with Black women. So often we talk about the role that men need to take in checking our privilege as if Black men and white men should address patriarchy in the same way. How often do … Continue reading Decolonizing Male Allyship
To get free we need more power, not less. We need more leaders not enfeebled followers. This idea that white people must give up their power is based on a white middle class and masculine limiting belief in scarcity. It presumes that either power is inherently bad [or at least bad in white people’s hands] or that it is a zero sum game. Intersectional transformative relationships teach us that power works in abundance. Just as standing in solidarity with my Black Trans siblings requires me to stand in my own transformative non-binary masculine power, not abdicate it, so too must non-Black people stand in their own transformative power. Yet in order for them to do it, they must first discover it and re-imagine their identities is a way that accepts my existence and my inherent humanity.
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.
It's no coincidence that #ILoveBlackWomen is happening during the same week as the National Day of Action for Black Women and Girls. When I conceived of this project it was important that I could at least point people towards a collective action aimed at supporting Black Girls, Black Trans* Women, and Black Women. I'm really … Continue reading #ILoveBlackWomen Day Four: ACT!
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.