Thursday, June 24, 2010

Be Still and Yes: Patience, Transformation and Badass Warrior Ancestors

In the name of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, June Jordan's anti-imperialist collection of poems Living Room, and Barbara Smith's priceless anthology Home Girls I am called to remind myself and you. Sometimes the most radical thing you can do is to stay your ass at home.

(Public sphere/private sphere dichotomies be vanquished.)

This piece of Black Feminist Herstory that I am about to share is not so old. Last year before a superstar Black Feminist Panel that we planned to present at the National Women's Studies Association meeting in Atlanta...sista revolutionary mentor comrade (y'all might know her as the creator of NO! the documentary about Black women and rape) Aishah Shahidah Simmons let us know that she would be staying home. As much as she wanted to come be with us and praise the name of Toni Cade Bambara at our We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For panel...the real lesson the Toni Cade was bringing was a radical self-care, stay your ass at home, this is a marathon movement for transformation not a mad dash, reminder.

So Aishah stayed home.

Now when the universe collaborates to keep my stubborn behind at home, despite my ferocious will to be EVERYWHERE, I know it is Toni Cade making her lessons known. Asking again and again. Do you really want to be. Well?

Toni Cade has been active these past couple of weeks. Everyone I know has been experiencing changes in travel plans, from oil leaks, to passport issues, to being sent back across the Atlantic because of technicalities around documents, to being hit by a car while riding a bike, to identity theft, to oversleeping...and in my case to a robbery and accident that have caused the beloved Revolutionary MobileHomeComing Vehicle to be laid up in the shop with a huge hospital bill.

Despite all of this we remain shaky movers, unstoppable road warriors, dare I say...STRONG BLACK WOMEN. But today I am aware of my warrior ancestors working in subtle and complicated ways. Toni Cade especially, weaving the message, you don't have to be everywhere, home is a place, sustain your body and spirit for the long the form of all my money heading to a mechanic in Atlanta for this RV repair and my frantic plans for a MobileHomeComing presence at Harlem Pride and the Dyke March in NYC squashed. I am a stubborn student. It takes all kinds of malfunctions for me to get the message.

Stay home. Regroup. Regenerate. Remember that summer is eternal. Sigh.

So I'm getting it. And as soon as I reached out to folks about my decision to cancel this trip to NYC (did I mention I'll be missing Afro Punk!!!!) donations started streaming in for the RV and I got a message from Sallie Mae that my next payment on my student loans isn't due until 2018. Okay ancestor warrior divas. I'm learning to listen. I promise it won't take so much drama next time.

So this is what I want to share with you, honor yourself, your passionate and motivated self, by listening for when the universe is asking you to rest up for the long journey of total transformation. Be still know that the energy of the universe is working through us even while we sleep. Be still and say NO to the nagging compulsion that whatever we do is never never enough. Be still and say YES to the knowledge that as the Combahee River Collective taught us "Black women are inherently valuable" which means that our value to each other and to our movement is not based on how many things we do, how many places we can be, and how frantically we run this planet.

Be still and YES.
What is the universe telling you? What is available for you to say YES to when you are still?

As QBG's we are in a place of celebration...check out QBG' Moya's excellent pictures from the Gemini Jam in Atlanta

Some pics from the first leg of the MobileHomeComing tour to amplify the genius of queer black intergenerational community:

Painting the RV:

Kick off in Atlanta:

MobileHomeComing in Detroit:

How you can donate to Sojourner the Revolutionary Vehicle's hospital bill: Make a donation to the A Black Queer Mobile Homecoming - An

Yes yes yes. We are beautiful. Black Women are inherently valuable. I'm being very still because I know that. Be still and yes.

If you need me these next couple of know where to find me.

Love always,

Visit Quirky Black Girls at:

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