inayofuata ni another straight-up so inspiring kinda hadithi that it got reposted-as-is, kwasababu sharing is caring, and it is betta to speak our truth, remembering we were never meant to survive…..

To counter some aspects of popular native literature that portray native people as stoic or create characters who speak pidgin English, we are pleased to be able to include some poems that give tender insight into the world of a Lakota mama. The fact that they were written by

the late Isabelle (Ten Fingers) Kills Enemy, a respected Lakota holy woman whom Tilda Long Soldier met in the early seventies, reveals a deeply touching side of a holy womban.

Isabelle’s daughter Valentina Janis explained that during the years when her mama was most active as a healer, she was not around her much and went to only a few of her ceremonies. Valentina shared what she could and then said, “ You know, there is something about my mom that not many people know. She loved to write poems and songs and she even wrote her own music.” Here is a poem on the loss of a child:

SINGING TO HEAVEN

On a moonlight

In a dream, lil’ darling

Dream denotes so you will be gone-gone-gone

From this whole wide world of living.

Just memories you are leaving

Singing, winging your way to heaven

Singing, winging your way to heaven

In this dream world

We’re happy, little darling

Missed you soon from our midst you’re gone-gone-gone

In vain your name we were calling

Searching then we heard your singing.

-RISING WIND (ISABELLE TEN FINGERS), 1906-84

Mother, daughter, granddaughter-these holy womben we met or learned of were not the isolated, childless crones of popular literature. Valentina also showed us a set of songs her mama had composed on staff paper. Not only could this womban, a reservation full-blood born on April 18 1906, write poetry in English but she had also acquired all the skills involved in songwriting.

Cultural anthropologists tell us that shamans were the first poets, artists and songwriters of the human race. They also point out that high intelligence and being multitalented were almost prerequisites to this sacred calling. At the end of her life, Isabelle wandered into the Badlands near her home. Her body was not found for some time.

BEAUTY OF MY MAMA’S PRAYERS

My dearest memories of Mama

As she trod along life’s way

Serenely she paused and stood there

At the altar she knelt and prayed

There’s a sweet strangeness when

Mama prayed for you and me.

And the peace and love on her face

Was like the glowing dawn of day.

The sunlight seemed brighter

Round her

When my mama knelt and prayed.

Like rainbow o’er the flowers that grow

Beauty of my mama’s prayer

Like singing or a river that flows

Beauty of my mama’s prayer

Like breezes o’er my fevered brow

When life is low, and the joy of love on her face.

Was like the glowing dawn of day.

The sunlight seemed bright around her,

When my mama knelt en prayed.

-RISING WIND (ISABELLE TEN FINGERS)

Ese.

[excerpts from Healers, Dreamers, and Pipe Carriers – Medicine Women of the Plains Indians –  Walking in The Sacred Manner

by Mark St.Pierre & Tilda Long Soldier]

makmende goes on a badass quest

Q[_]t (pronounced officially as cute /ˈkjuːt/, though more commonly as Q.T. /ˌkjuːˈtiː/)

s/heroes who inspire us so

[werd remix/ed] is a cross-platform application framework [series] that is widely used for developing application software with a graphical user interface (GUI) (in which cases Qt is referred to as a widget toolkit), and also used for developing non-GUI programs such as command-line tools and consoles for servers.

[in the art of taking participatory leadership to scale with (queer, trans/two-spirited) indigenus perspectives from the continent to the diaspora of righteousness en, back to (akina babu, watoto na mama wa) Afreeka (with big love) migrashuns]

Qt is most notably used in Autodesk Maya,[7][8] Dassault DraftSight[9][10] Google EarthKDEAdobe Photoshop Album, the European Space Agency,[11] OPIESiemens,[12] Volvo,[13] Walt Disney Animation Studios,[14] Skype,

VLC media player,[15] Samsung,[16]Philips,[17] Panasonic,[18] VirtualBox and Mathematica.[19]

It is produced by Nokia‘s Qt Development Frameworks division, which came into being after Nokia’s acquisition of the Norwegiancompany Trolltech, the original producer of Qt.[20]

[with “freshly pressed” blogs on-the-ground kama ya african activists,  www.ancestryinprogress.tumblr.com, http://blacklooks.org/, behind the mask, gay uganda, kubatana, none on record, spectra speaks, the weapon of the revolution, things I feel strongly about, writing rights…..holding memories of rainbow nations en delving into UKWELI YA the complexities of hadithi zetu en QPOC resistance, to what comes next…a courageous.healing love….but who among us carries the sage secrets of loving?]

[songs in the spaces between: dream(season)s of co-creating sustainable learning villages,

farming en harvesting di powah of (our visions for) UHAI]

Distributed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License (among others), Qt is free and open source software…….

[hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo! Uongo njoo! Utamu kolea!

Wetin next steps, after reaching out to the frontlines of the heart of our dreams, acknowledging dey s/heroes we’ve known from time and wetin those ‘betta practice’ paths of harvesting the powah! of cata(c)lysts, youth social infrastructure collaboratives en the legacies of elders en ancestors in coalition building? ]

[Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo! Who among us carry the sage secrets of loving o?

Kesho in the Q_t werd…….b is for black queer resistance, blackness yes en Blockorama as cultural champions of Tdot en others who inspire en nourish we so, whom we are infinitely grateful for…]

 Jus one of the many revolushunary organisations that we love, respekt and admire so, the ones that we have grown with en learnt so much from on building communities of (good) practice and the struggle for Afrikan liberation….

http://blog.trustafrica.org/blog.php?/archives/45-Hakima-Abbas-reflects-on-African-philanthropy.html

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68376

these are (some of)  the hadithi of the q_t werd [ on the ground]…

the ones that haven’t been published (yet)….

Proposal – Queer African Reader

Project Consultant: Sokari Ekine
Proposed Editors: Sokari Ekine, Hakima Abbas

We are writing to invite you to participate in the publication of an African LGBTI Reader to be published by Pambazuka Press in June 2011. The African LGBTI Reader is being published in response to the increasing homophobia and transphobia across the continent which aims to silence the voices of African Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex people.

The African LGBTI Reader [Working Title] seeks to make a timely intervention by bringing together a collection of writings and artistic works that engage with the struggle for LGBTI liberation and inform sexual orientation and gender variance. The book seeks to engage with primarily an African audience focusing on intersectionality and will include experiences from rural communities, post-conflict situations, religious experience as well that of immigration and displacement.

We are proposing an alternative framework for the book based on a participatory model in which we ask prospective contributors and the broad queer activist community to discuss possible topics to be included that will push analysis and thinking within this distinct and diverse movement across the continent writing from the standpoint of both personal stories and experiences as activists. We feel this is important because of the multi layered issues which exist historically, regionally and politically with regards to sexual orientation and gender variance in Africa as well as the overall struggle for African liberation.

We hope to facilitate the writing of key African LGBTI leaders, activists and thinkers by providing a two week retreat where activists can create the space to reflect, share their ideas and writing, peer review each other’s work, have access to sources and resources provided by prominent academics and the institution. The writing retreat will be fully sponsored and contributors will be provided an honorarium for their writing which will enable them to take the time away from their activities to provide a critically reflective piece.

Possible Topics – not including personal stories, poems, stories

We have identified eight themes which are listed below with a brief summary of each. We are suggesting each of you think about the theme[s] that interest you and suggest specific topics on which you could write or would like to see addressed.

1. WHAT’S IN A LETTER:

We repeatedly use the terms lesbian, gay, bi-sexual transgender and intersex but what do these mean in your own experience, your own community and country? How limiting or inclusive are these labels? Are they appropriate and do they reflect your own experiences? Does the identity cause more problems than the behavior? Does gender variance or gender non-conforming provide a more appropriate entry point for discussion in Africa given silence around all sexualities? How do we organize across definitions? Why should we?

2. RESISTING OPPRESSION – TOWARDS LIBERATION:

What kind of strategies have been used or could be taken up to resist / challenge queer oppression?

Should we be talking about movement-building? What conceptualisations, experiences and visions of movements do we have / should there be?

Should the struggle for LGBTI Rights be framed within a Western construct which sees Rights as instruments and legislation or should the struggle for rights be constructed within a framework of movement building around which the oppressed organise?

How has the reliance on the NGO Industrial complex supported or hindered movement building? If the latter, what possible alternatives are there to organising and fund raising? How can we move towards more collaborative and collective ways of working which support movement building? What kind of strategies have been used or could be taken up to resist / challenge criminalisation and homophobia including that coming from religious institutions and the media? How should we understand and transcend the limits of the NGO-dominated activist space?

3. PINK COLONIALISM AND WESTERN MISSIONARIES:

What are the problematics of internationalising campaigns and how do we work with allies in the West? How do we overcome donor dependence as a movement? Do the donors and bilaterals save us from ourselves? How do we measure victory e.g. in Malawi and Uganda?

4. A CHANGING WORLD: SOUTH AFRICA AND THE BRICS:

Does South Africa have a particular role to play in supporting queer liberation in Africa? Does the shift in global power create opportunity or threat for African queer liberation? What other geo-political factors determine the course for queer liberation?

5. AFRICAN QUEER LIBERATION AND CLASS STRUGGLE:

What are the intersections between the broader social justice movement in Africa and the movement for queer liberation? Why should one care about the other?

6. ARE GAY MEN FEMINISTS?

What political frames are useful in our movement building? While LBT activists have tended towards feminism does it exclude GT men? How do we address patriarchy and sexism in our movements and personal relationships even among women-identified folks? Why do many straight identified African feminists resist taking on queer issues as a feminist issue in Africa?

7.         GOD AND QUEER –

INCOMPATIBLE OR INSEPARABLE IN AFRICA

Does the movement have to come from a secular space? Given that many African queer folks identify as religious how do we overcome fundamentalism?

The US right wing church are using Africa as a battleground for queer bashing – why is this effective?

What of countries with majority Muslim populations or Islamic law for queer liberation?

What is liberation theology today from a queer liberation and broader social justice perspective?

What are our strategies here?

Are there existing experiences of this, and what can we learn from there? What are the conceptual, spiritual and strategic challenges that the concept of liberation theology throws up to religious queers?

8. RECONCILING THE PERSONAL WITH THE POLITICAL:

What particular role has been/can be played by those engaged in activism through the creative arts? What has been/is the personal cost to working as social justice activists often working in relative isolation and in hostile environments? How can we better balance our lives as social justice activists with that of social people and the need to care for ourselves?

Submissions can be any of the following: essays, case studies of lived experiences on any of the suggested themes, personal stories, poems, art work, photography, short stories, short plays.

Submissions are welcome from Africans both on the continent and in the diaspora.

Download the Concept Note here.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/Announce/67004

This blog is strategically mystic, personal and political.  I’ve been sharing pieces of a doc that we (a couple o’ dadas) officially started shooting dis’ summer, these bios of some of the 32 (en then some) folks that we love, respekt and admire so,  are a tapestry of all the brilliance and intersections in our diversity, en real tox on the struggle for afrikan liberation.

Dis blog is  the (un)official home of “The Q_t werd”: A caravan of us-people stories exploring bio/myth/ologies of (our vision) quests. The riddle of the sphinx is in the 4(+1) bredrin and dadas that are the crux of dis doc’

dear toronto,

If this open letter to tdot is to stay true to its mission, it has to start with (re)acknowledging where we’re at, on turtle island & where we coming from, mama afrika. It’s also only natural that in speaking truth to power, we share that we are in our final stage/week of developing & organising for

  1. The Spaces Between [produced by the Peace camp],
  2. Peace is Possible Parade &
  3. summer workshops at Crescent Town Public School  with Full Circle, Regent Park Camp, Balmy Beach, Learning for Life, Seeds of Hope…..

The ‘official’ werd on the ground is

The Children’s Peace Theatre of Toronto will be holding its 10th annual Summer Peace Camp from July 5-24, 2010. Under the direction of Liz Pounsett and musical direction by award-winning jazz artist Brownman with the artistic direction of Karen Emerson.

A group of 60 children and youth will work alongside professional artists to create a theatrical collaboration called ‘The Space Between’.

This is bound to be the most provocative of Peace Camp productions as the children explore faith and reason and how these concepts affect our lives personally and globally. It confronts head on the issues associate with the interplay of faith and reason with the level of honesty, humor and energy only children and youth can impart. The Space Between is sure to be visually stunning, thought provoking and full of surprises].

http://www.peacetheatre.org/

We’re inviting Tdot, all our friends and visitors, to come with their pikney and friends, join us on Friday July 23rd and Saturday July July 24th in the PIP Parade and the gala performance of the Space Between.

So ofcourse we should first tell you the story about the source of this peace theatre.

Hapo (si) zamani (sana) ya kale

In 2000, the Hannon-Shields Centre for Leadership and Peace reclaimed parts of the Massey Goulding Estate and under the ‘official’ leadership of Robert Morgan, launched the Children’s Peace Theatre (PT)

As Robert has said: “We place children and youth centre stage, not because they are cute or candid, but because they display humanity’s capacity to evolve, even in the harsh conditions of the current times. Young people are demonstrating an instinctive desire to move away from the dominant culture of self-interestedness and aggression, and are moving instead towards building relationships and community due to an innate desire to seek stability, safety, and peace.

It is also evident that young people have the imagination and the energy that will be necessary to establish a new culture of peace. Watching young people from very different backgrounds cross paths, encounter conflict, and find creative ways of making the conflict evolve in positive directions, gives me the audacity to believe that peace is possible.”

http://books.google.ca/books?id=hfBaL4-ei2AC&lpg=PP1&ots=wjbLnY-b6-&dq=once%20upon%20a%20time%20there%20was%20a%20little%20girl%20healing%20power%20of%20fairy%20tales&pg=PA7#v=onepage&q&f=false

[10 years later, the ‘un-official’ werd on the ground on the opening ceremony  is: join us in a prayer circle on Friday July 23rd @ at 7:00am , in the heart of the peace forest.

The ‘official’ plan of the day is the Peace is Possible parade @ 11:00am, and the 2nd matinee of the spaces between which will begin @ 1.00pm, in the outdoor amphitheatre of the Peace Theatre @ 305 Dawes Road.]

[this subjective perspective on the process of manifesting justice, truth, reconciliation en peacemaking; is after many moons of ‘unofficially’ re/claiming the grounds of the peace forest,  since I came back from ‘home’ [aka. in another place, not here…], en in the years before, with osain as my colleague, en his home as my office. Close to eshu, obatala, ogun, oshun, oya en all the orishas.

I am deeply grateful for now ‘officially’ being part of that divine, growing team that is blessed, honoured and privileged to work here, [job soon dun, but it’s a contract with possible extensions of renewal nonetheless, and all the fertile spaces between metarmophoses, healing rituals & building solidarity with people of all faiths, all nations, with one prayer.

I give thanks for the artists, caregivers, comrades, elders en youth, peer educators, healers and peace makers, friends of PT, who contribute their energy, talent & time to rebuilding our communities, with our children, using arts for revolushunary social & spiritual change, sharing our healing stories with the 3c’s of PT]

I pray for health and prosperity, not only for myself but for others. I pray for humbleness, for myself and others. Please forgive my sins, those that I know about, and those that I don’t know about, those I am yet to commit, and those of others. Inspire those without hope, and strengthen those without faith. I give thanks for the cool wotas, the sun, moon, and stars, for the birds, and our trees. Bless all our living relatives.Onikpite]

I give thanks for our continued re/learning of faith in the true (true) ways of the ‘natives’ of port credit Mississauga, for our deepening connecuns with egun,

Bless taylor creek park en all our neighbours en visitors. Bless the ancestors betwixt en between, all around  crescent town, goodwood, thorncliffe, dentonia park, jane&finch, parkdale, regent park, in all our enclaves, trees, en living relatives, in these diverse hoods.

PIP song

I give thanks for the burning, metamorphoses en (for) the spaces between spreading big love en positivity in our communities.  I give thanks that the fiya this time feels like ‘the revolushun’ is with our breaking bread, making arts en crafts, playing, praying, reasoning and replenishing not only ourselves, but with our families and friends, en ‘others’.

Bless the motherless and fatherless, those sick in hospital. Bless the homeless, and those who ignore them. Ifa,  I pray that you continue to guide us in coming to our right/full destinites. I pray that the circle may be unbroken. Bless our wotas en granmama earth. Ase. Ase….

[blogger’s notes: It’s, only officially, been less than a moon that I’ve been working on programs at the peace theatre, there’s still many pieces of the past that I’m not familiar with, but I give thanks that this place, in another space, not home, is exactly where I need to be,….naushukuru that the blessings of yesterday, manifested today en I pray for them to carry forward to tomorrow…..

85 days 16[+72]hours 25 minutes – the caps finally contained the oil spill, and we are bound to pray for our continued healing en self recovery, to learn from our mis-steps, and continue changing the destructive path we’ve been on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor-Massey_Creek

Taylor-Massey Creek is 16 kilometres long. Its headwaters are near Sheppard and Victoria Park Avenues. It flowed diagonally through Wishing Well Park and under Highway 401 at Pharmacy Avenue. The original headwaters were diverted to Highland Creek when the highway was widened to 12 lanes, so the creek now starts at a stormwater outfall just south of the highway.

The creek starts in Terraview Willowfield Park, a restoration project, named after a nearby public school. It flows through two medium sized ponds with naturalized channels. From there it flows southeast through a series of concrete lined channels and drains. This section runs along an abandoned hydro right-of-way before entering a residential and industrial section that is closed to public access.

South of Eglinton Avenue East it enters a shallow ravine and flows south passing through Pine Hills Cemetery. It exits the cemetery travelling west and enters a small park on St. Clair Avenue East. At Warden Avenue it turns southwest, moving through a park called Warden Woods. West of Pharmacy Avenue it enters a city run golf course. At Victoria Park Avenue it enters Taylor Creek Park and continues uninterrupted to where it empties into the Don River East Branch, just north of the forks of the Don.

[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,)

(rebuild)in(g) solidarity

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.

Ase.ase. ase….

[YOUTUBE=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHEyzL1g3w8&feature=related]

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…..

Hadithi? Hadithi?

Nipe mji……

 

 

A WOMAN SPEAKS

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

I do not mix

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

My sisters

Witches in Dahomey

Wear me inside their coiled clothes

As our mother did

Mourning.

I have been woman

For a long time

Beware my smile

I am treacherous with old magic

And the noon’s new fury

With all your wide futures

Promised

I am

Woman

And not white.

[from black unicorn by audre lorde]

Ase o….

Feminism: (as) a transformational politic  

“We live in a world of crisis – a world governed by politics of domination, one in which the belief in a notion of superior and inferior, and its concomitant ideology – that the superior should rule over the inferior – effects the lives of all people everywhere, whether poor or privileged, literate or illiterate.

Systematic dehumanization, worldwide famine, ecological devastation, industrial contamination, and the possibility of nuclear destruction are realities which remind us daily that we are in crisis…..

Feminism, as liberation struggle, must exist apart from and as a part of the larger struggle to eradicate domination in all its forms….the separation of grassroots ways of sharing feminist thinking across kitchen(table)s from the sphere where much of that thinking is generated [read institutionalised], the academy, undermines feminist movement.

It would further feminist movement if new feminist thinking could be once again shared in small group contexts, integrating critical analysis  with discussion of personal experience(s).

 It would be useful to promote anew the small group setting as an arena of education for critical consciousness, so that women, men (& trans folk) might come together in neighbourhoods and communities to discuss feminist concerns….It is in this commitment to feminist principles in our words and deeds that the hope of a feminist revolution lies.

Working collectively to confront difference, to expand our awareness of sex (gender), race and class as interlocking systems of domination, of the ways we reinforce and perpetuate these structures, is the context in which we learn the true meaning of solidarity.

It is this work that must be the foundation of feminist movement…..

True politicization – coming to critical consciousness – is a difficult “trying” process, one that demands that we give up set ways of thinking and being, that we shift our paradigms, that we open ourselves to the unknown, the unfamiliar.

Undergoing this process, we learn what it means to struggle and in this effort we experience the dignity and integrity of being that comes with revolutionary change.

If we do not change our consciousness, we cannot change our actions or demand change from others.

Our renewed commitment to a rigorous process of education for critical consciousness will determine the shape and direction of future feminist movement……

 

Feminist focus on men: a comment

…now we can acknowledge that the reconstruction and transformation of male behaviour, of masculinity is a necessary and essential part of feminist revolution. Yet critical awareness of the necessity for such work has not led to the production of a significant body of feminist scholarship that fully addresses these issues. Much of the small body of work on men has been done by men…..

(yet) just as love relationships between females and males are a space where feminist struggle to make a context for dialogue can take place, feminist teaching and scholarship can also and must necessarily be a space for dialogue….it is in that space that we can engage in constructive confrontation and critique…..

[Youtube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmvx8suFr3M&NR=1%5D

Blogger’s note: these teachings are symbolic of the great work that has been done and that is still ahead of us in healing not only ourselves, but the world, and in liberating not only ourselves, and ALL Afrikans, but ALL people. The bigger point of sharing teachings that have transformed not just me, but many others is simple: to reconnect, relocate and rebuild (our) communities with (big) love en more bredrin en dadas in solidarity….afrika moja!

Writing autobiography

The longing to tell one’s story and the process of telling is symbolically a gesture of longing to recover the past in such a way that one experiences both a sense of reunion and a sense of release…..

To G…., who is she: on using a pseudonym

Bell hooks is a name that comes from my family. It is the name of my great-grandmother on my mother’s side…claiming this name was a way to link my voice to an ancestral legacy of woman speaking – of woman power.

[between the lines: molisa nyakale is also a name that comes from my family. It is the name of my great-great-great-grandmother on my father’s side, and a mark-er of my true true home….claiming this name was also a way to link my voice to an ancestral legacy of wom(b)an speaking]

When I first used this name with poetry, no one ever questioned this use of a pseudonym, perhaps because the realm of imaginative writing is deemed more private than social….after years of being told that I said the wrong things, of being punished, I had to struggle to find my own voice, to feel that I could speak without being punished…

in using the pseudonym, I consciously sought to make a separation between ideas and identity so that I could be open to challenge and change.

Though by no means a solution to this problem, a pseudonym certainly creates a distance between the published work and the author….longing to shift attention away from personality, from self to ideas, informed my use of a pseudonym…the point of the pseudonym was not to mask, to hide my identity but rather to shift the focus, to make it less relevant

Excerpts from Talking Balk: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

In honour of the legacy of tajudeen abdul raheem (en many many ancestors who dedicated their lives to the liberation of all afrikan peoples)

this post is dedicated to bredrin and dadas in solidarity…nakupenda. bless those who work for truth, justice, reconciliation & peace.

 ase.ase.

 

Afrika moja! Afrika huru!

Ase. o.

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