[an open letter to pride toronto]
Big tings’ a gwaan: (pan) afrikan(i)s(ts) reconnecting en relocating with/indigenUS folks everywhere, these are our litanies of survival inviting you to listen to our songs of freedom en healing….
Big tings’ a gwaan like: the fiya this time at blockorama (could eve/n spread through all the tents, streets, en arts enclosures, all thru pride, maybe even straight to the ‘official’ pride tdot committee)
Big tings’ with: (our) word! Sound! Powah!
in solidarity with the all-afrikan people’s revolutionary party, akina mama wa afrika, anitafrika dub theatre, behind the mask, black action defence committee, bunge la mwananchi, coalition of african lesbians, the crux, elimu sanifu, engender, fahamu, gender education and advocacy project, malcolm x grassroots movement, moyo wa africa, ngomeni eco tourism community development project, swagger, Toronto women’s bookstore, Toronto rape crisis centre, Yoruba house project, Zingaro self help group en many more businesses en grassroots groups [to be revealed when we ‘officially’ launch dis’ epic of a video project].
na (many) bredrin en dadas (educating ourselves and others in the practice of freedom,)
within(en outside for) our communities
(this is my prayer…bless those who work for healing, truth, justice, peace & reconciliation)…..
The ground should (potentially) be revolushunary and ripe for organising big love en support for our growth and unity, the reality on dis earth has been in need of ‘the fiya this time’ en healing wota for years en counting….
I know I am just one of many conscious individuals, who have been disturbed by the increased gentrification and imperialism of the powers that be running pride, one of the many members of our communities that have organised more alternatives in celebration of our diversity and that also ran away…still I am one of the many that have made up the vast crowds
For our kind/a (people) masque/e/rading has been an intervention,
rainbow colours a testament to us people that have trans/formed not only ourselves but our communities
en even though I can really only speak from my experience in the last 8 years, for I have to admit that I have gone to every single pride for only as long as I’ve been in Canada, for where I’ve come from there ain’t been no ‘pride’ parade yet, and I sure as heaven haven’t experienced where pride is coming from before 2002, but that is exactly what may make me even more qualified to speak on the gaps in the structure than any one of the folks sitting on the committee right now.
For I am (not) one of u people, i am the sista outsider en revolushunary insider, (mis)placed betwixt, those ‘other’ people who are between so many communities, longing to go back home (to another place, not here…)
I was among the ones who were left behind in the entrails of ancient afrikan times, times dun changed (again) en there’s a reason it’s not taboo to go back for what you’ve forgotten, so
dear pride, I think it’s time we revised some tings, put the ‘real’ back in multicultural and go a lil deeper than we think we’re able or willing to….
Right back to when tings were (really) different, So I know, that there are many others who might disagree with me, or not feel as strongly about ‘the crisis’ in the state of tings, but in my opinion, it’s overdue for radical shake-ups in pride, the current committee has failed in the mission and spirit of Pride, and we have many more who are more than qualified, willing and able to run the committee, it’s time to (really) open tings up, less overconsumption of alcohol en more fundraisers for queer/trans groups in ‘third world’ countries, like for real, don’t you know at least 15 organisations that could really use some money in legal, security and administration fees, in say, Africa? That could be a good place to pick up the tab from last year, or why don’t you try nominating an afrikan again as pride marshall, there’s many more warriors who would love the platform to raise awareness on queer/trans rights, who have already dedicated so much of their energy, resources en time, in such a relatively short time, like say pouline kimani, audrey mbugua, nikki mawanda, chan mubanga, fikile vilakazi, d’bi young.anitaafrika or Zanele Muholi, and there are many many more to choose from…….
This comment is ofcourse a direct reference to how just last year you nominated Victor Mukasa as the International Grand Marshall, passed the buck in alot of the organising for hir reception, and other than giving hir a nominal amount to donate to the organisation of hir choice, an interview on the xtra website, a small blurb in the pride issue focusing on Helen Kennedy’s pet project, other than Alison duke’s work, en the interview with other Ugandans on the forefront of LGBT activism produced by Mary Tangelder en commissioned by ‘another’ group, other than Zanele muholi’s art-bios en the warriors of (the group formerly known as) pride Uganda organising, celebrating en documenting our AFRIKAN stories in the making, if it were not for these people, key milestones might not have really registered.
But these comments ain’t no ‘hate’ on pride,
read them as a litany of love for what really ‘makes’ pride, pride……
everyone knows it’s US…. ‘the people’….
from the ‘straight’ outsiders, to cliquey ‘insiders’, the photographers, volunteers, the floats en agitators, the masque/e/raders, youth en elders,
ALL the people of colour en the tourists, the vendors and the artists, activists en families….
so we already know that we’ve got nuff ‘other’ people ready for accessible, bigger, safer and more fun prides….we know we’re ready for a revolution, one that includes the liberation of all oppressed peoples, and not just vip tickets, token nominations and assimilation into oppressive status quos, and definitely not about giving, say blockorama less to organise with, or say, banning queer Israelis against apartheid from the parade…..so THIS time at pride we’ll be recruiting bredrin and dadas in (working class) solidarity and interviewing ordinary people for dis’ documentary en web series that is dedicated not only to the liberation of ALL Afrikans, but ALL people.
we already been collecting these hadithi for moons now, for you see, we come with our legacies of wom(b)anspeaking en manifesting powah!
the q/t werd is a (real/raw en) mystic, organic, us-people driven caravan of pan-afrikan myths, legends en our (kinda) super/s/heroes, we’re sharing OUR stories with everyone out there, we warn you we have not only just begun, en the fiya (en clean wota) this time, (en) next moon(s), will be/is/always has been divine….. 😉
we’re officially counting down to the launch of Nekkyd & The Q werd web series on the 1st of July, and in honour of bredrin and dadas in solidarity (BA-DIS) na elimu sanifu,
we dedicate this moon’ to egun en living ‘extraordinary’ people that are featured in the Q/t werd.
Bless those who pray en work not only for their own good but for others, en bless our good earth, healers, cooks, farmers, artists, teachers and wotas.
On Sankofa en santeria: a study of our (great) ancestors and mestizoed cultures, recent and ancient, from Michael Jackson, Tajudeen Abdul Raheem, Miriam Makeba, Audre Lorde, Elijah Masinde, Che Guevara, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, to Queen Nzinga, Nana Yaa Asantewaa, gran nanny of the maroons, the legendary Nyabinghi Muhumusa, orishas and many (many) more hadithi…..
Moon marked and touched by sun
My magic is unwritten
But when the sea turns back
It will leave my shape behind
I seek no favour
Untouched by blood
Unrelenting as the curse of love
Permanent as my errors
Or my pride
Love with pity
nor hate with scorn
And if you would know me
Look into the entrails of Uranus
Where the restless oceans pound.
I do not dwell
Within my birth nor my divinities
Who am ageless and half grown
And still seeking
Witches in Dahomey
Wear me inside their coiled clothes
As our mother did
For a long time
Beware my smile
I am treacherous with old magic
And the noon’s new fury
With all your wide futures
And not white.
[from black unicorn by audre lorde]