Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sing the Names: Or Why They Are Afraid of Us

Crazy Horse Names His Daughter: Lucille Clifton Rebirth Broadcast #11 from Alexis Gumbs on Vimeo.

Crazy Horse Names His Daughter: Lucille Clifton Rebirth Broadcast #11 from Alexis Gumbs on Vimeo.

Lucille Clifton knows about you. In the 1980's during her research on the Lakota leader, most widely known as Crazy Horse, she became fascinated with the name of his daughter. Her name, more than describing her appearance or demeanor described her significance in the minds of those who were actively seeking to eradicate the existence of indigenous people on this land mass that I live on today. Her name was They Are Afraid of Her. How could Lucille Clifton, born with 12 fingers and honing her witch powers with the help of her crew of children not identify?

They Are Afraid of Us. And this morning after a much cherished sneak preview of a forthcoming article by QBG Elle, the brilliant sistorian,

I am reminded of the intensity of the fear the dominant society launches at children of color and against those of us who would love, support or even give birth to them. They Are Afraid of Us.

And sometimes we are "They" so struck by the transformative possibility of our own power, the universe shifting heresy of our very existence that we hide, procrastinate and avoid ourselves. Sometimes We Are Afraid of Us, so shocked by the brilliant selves we see in each other that we hate when we should collaborate. And neither of those things are very scary at all for a capitalist system that loves nothing better than to exploit us and pit us against each other as if what it offers is worth competing for...

In Lucille Clifton's poem she imagines Crazy Horse bringing up the names of several of the important warrior healer women in his life, and at the same time she herself invokes and creates a mothering sisterhood, a context for how the composite names with the repetition of "Black" and "Woman" create a ferocious momentum.

".........she is
They Are Afraid of Her"

We are. They Are Afraid of Us. What an opportunity to teach fear about itself. To remind OURselves that fear, though all around us is not fundamentally ABOUT us. We are about love, and fear is the chemical released by the unacknowledged, unembraced knowledge that love changes everything. We are.

This morning I am wrapping myself in your names like a black shawl to wake up ghosts in, like a reason to be proud pre-Halloween, like a threat to whiteness of the sidewalk and the width of the road to hell. Feel free to bring your names to this forum that we may all be transformed.

And as you know we are transformed by our encounters with each other every day. This weekend I was blissfully transformed by the brilliance of QBG's Brandi, Moya, Summer, Zachari, Julia, Griffin and QBGuy Ashon during a silly, sacred, secular and short mini QBG retreat on Saturday.

And this past Sunday was the 3rd Annual Queerky CookOut check out the unabashed beauty and the hilarious facial expressions here:

TONIGHT (Tuesday Sept. 7th) if you are in Atlanta...the MobileHomeComing will be giving me fits of nerdy bliss at The REAL READING RAINBOW: QUEER BLACK INTERGENERATIONAL BOOKLUST at Charis Books and More (1189 Euclid Ave, NE Atlanta, GA 30307)...

at 7pm. Seriously...you don't want to miss QBG Moya talking about Octavia Butler, QBG L talking about Ntozake Shange and YOU bringing your favorite book and sharing the miracles it has made for you!

And speaking of fly nerds, check out quirky black hip hop artist Enongo


and give her some feedback!

And comment on the QBG facebook page if you are planning to go to NYC Comic Con in October so you can meet up with QBG Tiffany. Black nerds unite! :)

And if you are in Baltimore...QBG Jessica Coleman says....check out the story of Buddy Holly at Toby's Theater.

QBGs shifting Knightmares into Knowledge for centuries. :)

Love y'all,

No comments: