Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dear Mr. DuBois

So after pouring over both readings I had to go with my gut. Though I
found Wynter's reading more than enlightening and I am sure I will
read it numerous times, it was DuBois that illicited a moving response
from me. Being that I know the Professor Gumbs personally I have taken
the liberty of responding less "academically" and more like me.

Dear Mr. DuBois,
As I read through your writings a second time I am struck by physical awakenings. My eyes raise to Assata’s words hanging on my [wall] is just a wall...” Gentle croons from The sounds of Blackness, “Black Butterfly...Freedom comes with understanding who you are” kiss my ears, and a faint scent of coco mango reminds me of me.
This morning I wake, aware that the world you exist in pushes me to analyze, de and re-construct your words to argue for or against views written long ago, yet clenched firmly too today, and my body says not again. For I am, we are all enough.
How can my very breath be a problem, this space I occupy, be some mysterious cavern men need to explore, after donning precautionary gear, lest the rituals of my life threaten to supercede their own. I do not exist under a “veil” to be raised, function daily in some secret hide away. My existence is not a mystery. I am neither trying nor desiring to be the occupier of any space but that, which has been gifted to me.
I do not know your desires completely brother, but I know your love for the very people of whom you are “bone of the bone and flesh of the flesh.” For that reason I can’t help but wonder why you seek to expose me/us to forces choosing to render we, [if only to themselves] invisible. Why has denial taken command of your soul? You, my brother, know that we have always been, and will continue to be visible in a universe equipped to embrace us all. You know our lives to be real. Yet you place our spirits and songs on tables to be evaluated by those who have their own songs to sing. Consumption for a system, that drinks our blood to ensure its survival. You seem to feed us up willingly, by searching for home foreign territory. This cannot be your intent. We have a home.
I will admit that you are correct to point out the reality of a “double consciousness, a two-ness of american and negro,” but I can’t help but wonder why this stage was set, and why we feel compelled to enter it. Are we obliged to seek “freedom in [this] promise land” from those with whom we co-exist? This space cannot be rightfully possessed by any of us for we are, all of us, mere tenants of an order greater than even we. We each, make a choice to enter into contacted ownership of a humanity that must negate and invalidate to survive. I cannot sign up today. Rather I choose to mark, reject and discard this phenomenon, like an old sweater that has served no purpose at all, for we come from fertile ground and we are not cold.
I wonder Mr. DuBois, what this text would look like if you too had discarded this trend, if you had written as who you are, about you. Could you have written without thought to audience, spoken with your facts about what is, maybe written the Blues? How would you tell your story as the “tired climber searching for Canaan?” Would you still be “handicapped and racing with the world” if you were not measuring “men” against the “souls of Black folks?” In this place this measurement I am most intrigued by this men to non-men balance. Who I wonder, names the things that make up the basis of this comparison? Who possesses the right to decide against melanin? When exactly did we blindly accept the standard and, in turn, surrender our humanity?
As I near the conclusion of this dialog I must note that my assessment here is as much about me as you. I find myself wading in a pool of multiculturalism that seeks to uphold an us /them mentality. What I know is that we are all culture for we have each of us adapted to this existence in ways that make sense for us. Each manifestation looks different, sometimes mystical, but it is, in fact, an adaptation nothing more nothing less. Our lives, our cultures are not to be explained, or conceptualized in any other context than the ones we exist in. I search daily for that comfortable place beyond a covetous path, that honors each of our journeys. I have yet to find it, maybe together we will.
In solidarity,
MaMa Nia

To be a problem

Hey, haven't been here in a while!!!
So... I am taking this online course from the brilliant Professor Alexis Gumbs over at Duke University. The course is called "To be a Problem- Outcast Subjectivity in Black Literary Production." I will be using this blog to post my responses to our weekly readings. And who knows, I may be inspired to write something else.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A note of Thanks

Thank you all for participating in this incredible three day release of healing energy. The outpouring of love and support is evidence of the extrordinary beauty WE possess. I (Mama Nan a.ka. Nia) am hoping that you will continue releasing this powerful energy every morning with a moment of Asha, to the universal call for love and and healing and with intentional smiles, greetings and real listening... to yourselves and one another. It is our time, if we grasp it!!! As a continued promotion of this healing spirit, I am choosing to fruit, vegetable and herbal tea detox every Tuesdays (the least valued day in the capitalistic world), knowing that to win this battle we must become whole. Knowing that WE are neither silence nor sacrifice. WE are celebration. Asha
Please Join Me.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Reclaiming our spirits- Join us in a three day fast

This is a call to reclaim our spirit. To fight the way we know how. And to following the paths our ancestors set before us.
Join Black Women in Durham as we expel and heal from the hatred spewed upon our bodies. Collectively we can cleanse ourselves and our community of this venom.
We are calling for a 3 day fast (Tuesday, January 16th - Thursday January, 18th), along with meditation and prayer as we ignite a collective power of healing.
This is not meant to be a hardship so please fast in a way that feels right to you. Many of us will be eating only raw fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water and detoxifying teas. Please do what feels right to you. We ill break this fast on Friday morning and continue to fast one day a week until...
Please distribute this email widely and post a comment to our blog

Friday, January 12, 2007

Silent Protest and Insallation

Because direct and immediate action is love, and revolution, and beauty, and resistance, and ....

Because art is action all over this globe

Because we are we are we are we are we are agentsloversalliessurvivorsstriversresisterssistersfightersradicalsfamily

Because nifong is not the glue that holds this case or this community together

Because we will not be silenced or confused in the face of white racist patriarchy and sexual violence...

beacause we need....
Movement now...

If you want to sit and meditate silently in front of the Court House Sunday meet us there!
Bring a flower, a poem, a candle, a stick of incense, a piece of art work and... let's collectively focus positive energy on healing our ourselves and our community.

This is not an overly choreographed event, just show up at the court house around 12 noon Sunday 1/14.