“We find our origins in the historical reality of Afro-American women’s continuous life-and-death struggle for survival and liberation.”
- Combahee River Collective Statement, 1977
Beloveds (pun intended) this week the creepiness of sleeping in a New England inn complete with revolutionary war era weapons and portraits of scary white men, the horror of an irresponsible adaptation of a classic black feminist text (http://quirkyblackgirls.blogspot.com/p/for-colored-girls-blog-carnival.html) and the hot occult storyline of B.Steady's video for Resurrection Song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIGl_-A4Lb0) not to mention the early onset of darkness thanks to the time change...all have me thinking about the meaning of life, death, haunting and origins.
This week, also in celebration of the release of a zine envisioned by QBG Moya for the Combahee Survival Project that explores this idea of the origins of black feminism using the form of the spy decoder (download it here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/42027894/Combahee-Survival-Activity-2) I am thinking about this idea of life-and-death struggle not only in terms of the urgency of our work (i.e. the literal survival of our communities is at stake) but also the fact that the living and the dead and the yet unborn are all fully involved in our struggle, all present, all demanding our accountability.
So when the members of the Combahee River Collective (specifically wordsmiths Barbara Smith, Beverly Smith and Demita Frazier) chose to use the word "continuous" they were making a historical statement, but also a cosmic intervention. How do the decisions we make about how to use the embodied energy we express in this life shift when we think about our lives on a continuum that includes everyone who has ever existed. What happens when survival and liberation are more than individual, but collective, across life, death and even the plane dividing what we can understand from what the limits of this life keep us from describing. If we thought about our "origins" in this life and death continuous way would we make choices that were less careerist, more holistic, riskier? Would we move more quickly and urgently or more slowly and thoughtfully on our daily paths? Would we sleep longer? Listen to trees? Study clouds?
What does it mean to be accountable to the dead along with the living? And further, what does it mean to be as accountable to our deaths as we are to our lives? As accountable to what we cannot know as to what we experience on a daily basis?
What do you think? Participate in the resurrection conversation here: https://grou.ps/quirkyblackgirls/talks/5519107
And to continue those conversations in person sign up for MotherOurselves Bootcamp in Durham January 7-9: http://summerofourlorde.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/motherourselves-bootcamp-january-7-9-2011/
AND/OR for Thicker Than Whatever: Unstoppable Mother Daughter Relationships in Atlanta on Saturday January 15th: http://brokenbeautiful.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/thicker-than-whatever-unstoppable-motherdaughter-bonds/
AND take a moment to fill out this survey for a book chapter I am writing about whether maternal political legacies survive or transform through ESSENCE magazine. It's specifically for people of my generation (born between 1975-1985) and I'd love your feedback so fill it out today!: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/P5D3HBD
AND AND AND save the date to get in touch with your healer, rooted, ancestor channeling self May 20-26th in Durham, NC at the Indigo Days gathering.
AND if you want to give your spirit a reason to jump for joy participate in the amazing events going on for Afrekete's Pride Week at Spelman
THIS WEEK! http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=162146130485016
Oh my goodness the multitudes are jumping up and down in my heart. I'm so happy to be reborn with you!!!
P.S. and by popular demand FIRE: Little Black (Feminist) Book Vol. 2 is going into reprints. Find out how to get a copy of your own here: http://brokenbeautiful.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/keeping-it-hot-little-black-feminist-book-series-vol-2-fire/