Xan West, Katie Lonke, Ericka Huggins, Myself, and marquita Chamblee (my mama) at National Conference on Race & Ethnicity In Higher education (NCORE) 2016. We spoke on intergenerational differences in movement work, and how to bridge the age divide in organizing. (May 2016)
Members From black.seed presenting on Direct action @ Allied Media Conference 2016 in Detroit, MI. (June 2016)
A bunch of cool black queers. (June 2016)
Embodied Creative Writing for Political Imagination and Healing, from the dreaming wakefulness collective. i began drafting a story about accessing ancestral memory and it's amazing. (July 2016)
Me & My favorite pup, Samson. I often...usually... Enjoy Dogs more than people. (July 2016)
It's been a hot summer, and I ain't talking about temperature. Hot as in, exciting, bustling, revolutionary fires burning, hot. Hot as in angry, violent, blistering. Hot with tears and sweat and grief. Orlando. Alton. Philando. Delrawn. Deenequia. Too many names.
I've been all over recently. I left my job within higher education and have since taken time to travel, to write, to be with family, to present, and to meet and learn from organizers across the country. I spent time in writing workshops, in accountability processes, in the streets, and, most of all, in my notebook. I presented on an intergenerational panel of young folks and elders, sitting with my mama to the left of me, and Ericka Huggins to my right. I traveled to Detroit for the Allied Media Conference. The group of Black queers I went with sat on the sidewalk crying for Orlando and praying over water from Flint. It has already proved a powerful, igniting summer for self reflection, resilience, and healing.
I'm a thoughtful, often overly analytical person. And quiet. It seems like no matter how much quiet or thinking time I get, my mind is constantly spinning with new possibilities, questions, critiques, lessons, etc. Some of the things on my mind after the business of the summer?
What is my place in this movement for Black lives? What does genuine accountability look like? Is it about hearing what we want to hear, or giving people the space to learn and grow (with or without our support)? What are the costs of not prioritizing healing in a movement addressing police brutality and the injustices Black & poor people are forced to live in? Many of us are coming to organizing from places of trauma and hurt, s how can we better integrate self reflection and healing practices when engaging with each other? How do we not simply dispose of people whose tactics and vision for liberation is different from ours? How does fixation on curating visibility hurt or harm our movement, and our ability to build genuine relationships?
These aren't rhetorical questions, I really don't know. But I'm committed to taking the space to explore these questions and thoughts more. I think we do more harm than good when self reflection and soul care is not part of our daily work as freedom fighters. I plan to spend more energy in this heat of the summer to answer these questions.
What are your plans for the summer heat?
musings of a Black, queer and genderqueer activist, educator, musician.