Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oya Sightings: "Black Girls Are From the Future"

“But wind is our teacher.”

-Audre Lorde

“Black girls are from the future.”

-Renina Jarmon

I am affirmed by windmills. Driving up and down California this past week we photographed them wherever we saw them. Tall and reaching out, tilted, in motion, waiting for new angles. Somehow familiar. Though our journey has been dominated by gas and our daily lives are still mostly framed by the unsustainable use of fossil fuels, windmills are like us, the future in the present, modeling the spiritual ecology we need to move into where energy is renewable and infinite and light and breathable because it is us, breathing our own inspiration, because it is the transformative travel of no separation.

In the Yoruba tradition the transformative power of the wind is deified in the name of Oya, an often feminized figure who is beyond gender Oya is like the wind powerful and disruptive enough to transform landscapes, Oya is everywhere as necessary as breath itself, reminding ourselves that even as we inhale we are transformed. Even as we exhale we are transforming everything.

We are the windmills. Honoring the wind itself in our shape, in our movement, in our stance and flexibility, and in our communities our tribe the quirky black girls, queer to definition of gender, race and restriction and breathing are the future and the present demonstrating what it looks like to power a life with love, rejecting the fossil fuel of fear more and more everyday.

So cheer when you see a windmill…this week I was affirmed by the work of windmill Amber Shigg organically creating a loving queer black context of musical, edible, tangible love with the rest of the Black Queer Society Crew in San Francisco a city where targeted gentrification has led to a situation where black folks are few and far between and where black folks seeking queer asylum find themselves shut out by walls of whiteness. This week I was affirmed by the work of Jamilah Shabazz and Bea Sullivan, Quirky Black Girls creating space for soul beyond hipster posturing in Oakland and was honored to tear up karaoke with a full body dose of show-em-how-its-done! This week I was affirmed by elders who work with divination and light everyday to welcome the future we deserve as a community. This week I witnessed you writing about reproductive justice and the meaning of Wisconsin, moving through the street, saying yes to something you know you’ve been wishing for. I am affirmed today by the start of Angela Harvey’s monthlong celebration of her 45th birthday.

Honor these moments as Oya sightings. I see you transforming with every breath. I am transformed by you in every moment as you do what keeps you breathing, as you stay present to the legacy that flows through you, to the future you embody. I see you teaching more and more clarity about what it means to breathe. You are so beautiful, I hope someone takes a picture.

Love always,


p.s. FYI session proposals dropped this week for the Allied Media Conference aka crucial QBG meetup that you should ALL try your best to participate in coming up June 23-26th in Detroit. Check out the call for sessions here and embrace the opportunity to show your wind warrior steez and teach us all how you change everything!

Instructions for proposing a session here:


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