I think I could get behind this definition of commitment.
It is no wonder that the autobiographical medium has dominated black modes of written expression. The autobiographical moment afforded a contradiction in racist reason: How could the black, who by definition was not fully human and hence without a point of view, produce a portrait of his or her point of view? The black autobiography announced a special form of biography, a text that was read for insight into blackness, which meant that paradoxically some of the problems of epistemic closure continued through an engagement that admitted epistemic possibility. The interest in black autobiography carried expectation and curiosity. One could see the further titillation that emerged from the addendum to several nineteenth-century narratives, including that of Frederick Douglass, ‘as written by himself.’ A black man who could write?
I’m normalizing TV.
I am making TV look like the world looks. Women, people of color, LGBTQ people equal WAY more than 50% of the population. Which means it ain’t out of the ordinary. I am making the world of television look NORMAL.
I am NORMALIZING television.
You should get to turn on the TV and see your tribe. And your tribe can be any kind of person, any one you identify with, anyone who feels like you, who feels like home, who feels like truth. You should get to turn on the TV and see your tribe, see your people, someone like you out there, existing. So that you know on your darkest day that when you run (metaphorically or physically RUN), there is somewhere, someone, to run TO. Your tribe is waiting for you.
You are not alone.
(via because i am a woman)
I forget all too often I am a subject-participant in an ongoing history, that what happens around me requires documentation, that what happens inside of me constitutes a process that is important to my growth and reflective/indicative of a group journey.
—Toni Cade Bambara (on her 42nd birthday) in a letter to June Jordan
(via the dopest ethiopienne)
groove with You, 2014 *
A poster series featuring carefree men of color allowing themselves self-love and the pursuit of joy. An exploration of line and pigment in relation to the boundaries, borders and the inner workings of black and brown boys.
For more, visit here.
* part of the Queenies, Fades & Blunts experience
After going through this challenge, what has been your most poignant discovery? Write a mantra for yourself that will remind you of how you want to feel and how you want to grow moving forward.
This post has taken a while, I know. A lot has been going on, both inside of me, in my little world and the little worlds of the people who mean the most to me, and in the world at large. I wanted to be in a place where I could really think about this unencumbered when I wrote this post. That place is apparently my mother’s bed in my childhood home.
Can a mantra be one word? I think I want my mantra to be trust. I think I say trust the way some people say “have faith.” I want to have trust. Trust in the knowledge that underlies all of my feelings. Trust in the security of my choices rather than giving in to the insecurities in my head. Trust in my voice, in my opinion, in my personality, in what I have to offer to my people and to, iono, the world. Trust in my own worthiness and value. Trust in love. Trust in the pain that happens on the way to growth. Trust in the journey. I want to trust all of these things enough to be courageous, to find out what’s on the other side of all of my fears. I want the courage to be even more open. I want the courage to work through the things I’m afraid to be open about. I want the courage to explore solutions to things that look like problems that aren’t me telling myself to change, to be different, to be better.
But I also want to be better. I think my most poignant discovery has been how much growing I have left to do. I’m coming up on my 5 year anniversary of writing/sharing in this space, and I have grown so much from the person I was when I started here. But growth just brings us to new opportunities for growth. There are levels to this shit. I have things to work on. I have places (real and virtual) to do that work, and people (in my daily life and with whom I primarily interact on the internet) to support me as I do it. Talking about my life as I discover and better myself is why I started blogging, and I can keep that mission and have things to talk about. I am more than my job and my relationships. I’m still a thing to talk about.
Write with your eyes like painters, with your ears like musicians, with your feet like dancers. You are the truthsayer with quill and torch. Write with your tongues of fire. Don’t let the pen banish you from yourself. Don’t let the ink coagulate in your pens. Don’t let the censor snuff out the spark, nor the gags muffle your voice. Put your shit on the paper.
We are not reconciled to the oppressors who whet their howl on our grief. We are not reconciled.
–Gloria Anzaldua, Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers, 1980
I love revising things, because you see how you can get the language to get closer to intention. You know there are three ways to say X thing, but one will say it better than the other two. And in saying it better, it gets you closer to something. When you achieve it fully, you create something that’s transparent—that people can move into and through their own experiences. As a writer, I don’t want people spending time thinking, “What does she mean?” I want, in a way, my text to go away. So that the words on the page become a door to one’s own internal investigation. It’s just a passage. If the work does its job, it just opens.
Does this sound like you:
You don’t think you’re creative.
You love to create, but you don’t think you’re particularly talented.
You don’t want the people in your life to judge your creative vulnerability, so you hide it.
If you were not concerned about these things and felt free to explore and express yourself freely, what would you do? What would you create? What story would you tell and how would you tell it?
This sounds so much like me it’s scary. I was literally having this conversation with JJ a couple of weeks ago. I talked about it a little already, but I’m going to lay it out in full here just because the overlap between what I said and this prompt literally sent chills down my spine. (Bolded text below represents emphasis added for the purposes of this post.)
JJ: and you write about your experiences in a way thats accessible to others