Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Not Meant to Be Alone: Towards Collaboration
from Brilliance Remastered
Yesterday was the first session of the webinar Eye to Eye: Radical Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars! We gathered to talk about my VERY favorite essay by Audre Lorde and how we can create the collaborations we dream of beyond the individualism, tokenization and internalized oppression that often gets in the way of the collaborations we most urgently need and deeply want! Our first group poem comes from a line from Carson McCuller's The Heart is a Lonely Hunter appropriated by Barbara and Beverly Smith as the title of their collection of letters between Black Feminists in Conditions 4 and then again by Audre Lorde in Eye to Eye: "I am not meant to be alone and without you who understand." This longing to end isolation, to build community and to be seen and understood in the context of our vision is the grounding desire (aka LOVE) that inspires our collaborations. Name your longing! Who and what are you meant to be with in this life?
Not Meant to Be Alone (A Poem for you Who May Understand)
created by the participants in the Eye to Eye Webinar on Radical Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars
I am not meant to be alone and without the love of black women bourgie, broke, booklearned, backbreaking or otherwise.
I am not meant to be alone and without black men at the age the prison eats up in my life, at my table and on my team
I am not meant to be alone without those who try to answer my intellectual and spiritual questions
I am not meant to be alone and without someone to call to say silly black feminist nonsense to
I am not meant to be alone and without my reflection: black women educators...
I am not meant to be alone and without my family created & given
I am not meant to be alone and without the listening of my family even when my ideas are radical and dangerous
I am not meant to be alone and without my mama
I am not meant to be alone and without inspiration
I am not meant to be alone and without warmth, roots, the world
I am not meant to be alone and without purpose
I am not meant to be alone and without books
I am not meant to be alone and without good poetry
I am not meant to be alone and without a good party
I am meant to be here
I am meant to be with of each of you
I am meant to be with more rad women of color
I am meant to be with my ancestors and yours!
I am meant to be with the love, support & freedom of my beloved communities despite our differences
I am meant to be at home, but able to have conversations with the rest of the world too
I am meant to be in different forms of schooling/learning spaces other than the academy
I am meant to be a supporter of friends and family
I meant to do work that is community accountable
I am meant to be with my closeted cousins in the Caribbean who are scared because I am loud
I am meant to be with those hurt by organized religion learning again their undeniable worth
I am meant to be with those who choose stability, without judgment but with open quit-your-job-invitation arms
I am meant to be with people of color who have been battered by the academy but who can learn to love themselves and each other again
I am meant to be with those seeking to practice freedom
I am meant to be with clean water and good food
I am meant to be with peace of mind
I am meant to be with deep loving conversations with strangers
I am meant to nurture and be nurtured by people who carry similar visions
I am meant to be with my own superpowers, awake and necessary
I am meant to be with you.