post-thanksgiving roll. 

today was supposed to be day 2 of the series on s/heroes. however, I have had to make last minute changes to the presentation. This series is interrupted for me to rewrite the stories with no names. i consider it an exercise in growth. but i’m saddened  at my (imposed) self censorship. That I can’t just talk freely about my comrades en sistren. because it’s still not safe for us. but then again it is. because we have done what we need to make it safe for ourselves. though let me make clear that when I say I yam angry. that is strategic and political. I yam actually not FEELING  angry, I mean who would I get anrgy at? my friends and family that are concerned about their safety? I can not be angry at them. I can say I’m angry at the world. But no one has necessarily done anything (yet) in reaction to this blog. at least I don’t think so. So my use of the word, is political.

It is to transform the fear and reality of unsafe spaces. to acknowledge the anger of fear for our lives. to take on the battle for others who are not even allowed to express that anger, who can do nothing other than nurse those wounds, or worse yet, die.

but there are many of us who are still here. we are the survivors. en I yam not angry anymore. I have been angry many times before. I will still willfully carry that tag of the mad black woman. the strong black woman. but i am neither of these things. I have been blessed with love and luck. I write these stories, because I can, because I want to, en because I think it’s necessary.

I believe in the uses of anger, the power to transform with fiya. It is also true dat fiya fi burn. and it is deadly to be  consumed by it. we need all the elements in our growth. fiya, wota, earth, air.

and, in another prelude to that future post, (the one that I mentioned earlier), a retraction…..

let me say again, that this blog is political. it is strategically rooted in the personal.

I, molisa nyakale. write about me, en my work, en my personal life.

en yet, this blog is not about me at all. it is about resistance to all forms of imperialism and rebuilding healthy, loving, sustainable communities. it is about strategising with comrades. about equipping ourselves with the neccsary resources. this is a work of love.

 this blog is that extra/visible contra/diction.

 i tell you the details of so’ en so’….but I don’t gossip.

it is about season 2 of the q werd. queer/trans afrikan lives in tdot.

 

but that’s a story I’ll tell you another moon. today.

 

i’ll dedicate to el hajj malik shabazz instead.ase.

 

and i give thanks for (my other) teachers like, angela davis, assata shakur, audre lorde,  audrey mbugua, amilcar cabral, bell hooks, cornel west, d’bi young.anitAfrika, dionne brand, edward said, ernesto che guevara, frantz fanon, kwame nkrumah, kwame ture, mwalimu nyerere, muthoni wanyeki, nalo hopkinson, notisha  massaquoi, pouline kimani, staceyannchin,  vandana shiva, walter rodney king  en wangari maathai…en more

 

i give thanks for our ancestors, our elders, and our youth.

 

i give thanks for the power of (u) people. (and for hanifah walidah and olive demetrius)

i give thanks for none on record.

 

they are re/building our archives.

they are re/inscribing our existence, en our afrikan decsent,

they have some jood stories. go listen to them.

 

and listen to this piece of malcolm’s.

 

OUR HISTORY WAS DESTROYED BY SLAVERY

This is another repost from a wordpress blog I just discovered, and more, in the words of others, on the subject of queer identity in Africa…you can pull the address from my blog roll…

The following passages have been pulled from the research of Kendall, titled “Women in Lesotho and the (Western) Construction of Homophobia” which was published in the anthology, female desires

“My search for lesbians in Lesotho began in 1992, when I arrived in that small, impoverished African country and went looking for my own kind. That was before the president of nearby Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, himself mission-educated, declared moral war on homosexuality and insisted that homosexuality was a ‘Western’ phenomenon imported into Africa by the colonists. When I left Lesotho two and a half years later, I had not found a single Mosotho who identified herself as a lesbian. However, I had found widespread, apparently normative erotic relationships among the Basotho women I knew, in conjunction with the absence of a concept of this behavior as ’sexual’ or as something that might have a name. I learned not to look for unconventionally or visible performance of sex role rejection as indicators of ‘queerness.’ Most Basotho women grow up in environments where it is impossible for them to learn about, purchase, or display symbols of gay visibility, where passionate relationships between women are as conventional as (heterosexual) marriage, and where women who love women usually perform also the roles of conventional wives and mothers. I have had to look again at how females express themselves, how privilege and lesbianism intersect (or do not), and whether what women have together- in Lesotho or anywhere else- should be called ’sex’ at all. I have concluded that love between women is as native to southern Africa as the soil itself, but that homophobia, like Mugabe’s Christianity, is a Western import.” (157)

“My attempts to ‘come out’ to rural women and domestic workers were laughable; they could not understand what I was talking about, and if I persisted they only shook their heads in puzzlement. Despite this, I had some long conversations with Basotho women, especially older university students and domestic workers, who formed my social cohort in Lesotho and who trusted me enough to describe their encounters in as much detail as I requested. From these I learned of fairly common instances of tribadism, or rubbing, fondling, and cunnilingus between Basotho women, with and without digital penetration. This they initially described as ‘loving each other,’ ’staying together nicely,’ ‘holding each other,’ or ‘having a nice time together.’ But not as having sex. No koai, no sex.”
“Lillian Faderman’s observation that ‘A narrower interpretation of what constitutes eroticism permitted a broader expression of erotic behavior [in the eighteenth century], since it was not considered inconsistent with virtue’ makes sense here. If these long, sweet Basotho women’s kisses or incidences of genital contact were defined as ’sexual’ in Lesotho, they could be subject to censure both by outside observers who seem to disapprove of sex generally (nuns, visiting teachers, traveling social workers) or by the very women who enjoy them but seek to be morally upright and to do the right thing.”
“Since sex outside of marriage in Roman Catholic terms is i sin, then it is fortunate for women in this mostly Catholic country that what women do in Lesotho cannot possibly be sexual. No koai, no sex means that women’s way of expressing love, lust, passion, or joy in each other are neither immoral nor suspect.” (166-67)

“Nthunya (a woman from Lesotho) describes how the woman she calls ‘M’alineo chose her as her motsoalle (special friend) with a kiss. Nthunya writes: “Its like when a man chooses you as his wife, except when a man chooses, its because he wants to share blankets with you. The woman chooses you the same way, but she wants love only. When a woman loves another woman, you see, she can love with her whole heart.”
“Nthunya describes the process of their relationship, the desire that characterized it, the kisses they shared, their hand-holding in church, their meetings at the local cafe. And she describes two ritual feasts observed by them and their husbands, recognizing their relationship. These feasts, held one year apart, involved ritual presentation and slaughter of sheep as well as eating, drinking, dancing, singing, exchanges of gifts, and general merriment and validation of the commitment hey made to each other by all the people they knew. ‘It was like a wedding,’ Nthunya writes. ” (167)

“The classical exchange in this debate pits a realist/essentialist, who believes that lesbians have existed in most cultures and throughout history, against a normative/social constructionist, who believes that lesbians only appear where and when there is the socially constructed concept, ‘lesbian.’ What the situation in Lesotho suggests is that women can and do develop strong affectional and erotic ties with other women in a culture where there is no concept or social construction ‘lesbian’ and where there is no concept of erotic exchanges among women being ’sexual’ at all. And yet, partly because of the ‘no concept’ issue and in part because women have difficulty supporting themselves in Lesotho, there has been no lesbian lifestyle option available to Basotho women. Lesbian or lesbianlike behavior has been commonplace, conventional, but it has not been viewed as ’sexual’ or as an alternative to heterosexual marriage, which is both a sexual and economic part of culture.” (171-72)

Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good that she is woman. A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories. Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.

Imagine a woman who has acknowledged the past’s influence on the present. A woman who has walked through her past. Who has healed into the present.

Imagine a woman in love with her own body. A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is. Who celebrates her body’s rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.

Imagine a woman who embraces her sexuality as her own. A woman who delights in pleasuring herself. Who experiences her erotic sensations without shame or guilt.

Imagine a woman who honors the body of the Goddess in her changing body. A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom. Who refuses to use her precious life-energy disguising the changes in her body and life.

Imagine a woman who has access to the full range of human emotion. A woman who expresses her feelings clearly and directly. Who allows them to pass through her as gracefully as a breath.

Imagine a woman who tells the truth. A woman who trusts her experience of the world and expresses it. Who refuses to defer to the thoughts, perceptions, and responses of others.

Imagine a woman who follows her creative impulses. A woman who produces original creations. Who refuses to color inside someone else’s lines.

Imagine a woman who names her own gods. A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness. Who designs a personal spirituality to inform her daily life.

Imagine a woman who refuses to surrender to gods, gurus, and higher powers. A woman who has descended into her own inner life. Who asserts her will in harmony with its impulses and instincts.

Imagine a woman who is interested in her own life. A woman who embraces her life as a teacher, healer, and challenge. Who is graceful for the ordinary moments of beauty and grace.

Imagine a woman who authors her own life. A woman who trusts her inner sense of what is right for her. Who refuses to twist her life out of shape to meet the expectations of others.

Imagine a woman who participates in her own life. A woman who meets each challenge with creativity. Who takes action on her own behalf with clarity and strength.

Imagine a woman who has crafted a fully formed solitude. A woman who is available to herself. Who chooses friends and lovers with the capacity to respect her solitude.

Imagine a woman who refuses to diminish her life so others will feel better. A woman who brings the fullness of her years, experience, and wisdom into each relationship. Who expects others to be challenged and blessed by her presence in their lives.

Imagine a woman who assumes equality in her relationships. A woman who no longer believes she is inferior to men and in need of their salvation. Who has taken her rightful place beside them in the human community.

Imagine a woman who refuses to use her precious life-energy managing crisis and conflict. A woman whose relationships deepen in satisfaction and contentment without depleting her. Who chooses friends and lovers with the necessary skills to navigate through the challenges of life.

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life. A woman who sits in circles of women. Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.

Imagine a woman who has relinquished the desire for intellectual safety and approval. A woman who makes a powerful statement with every word she speaks, every action she takes. Who asserts to herself the right to reorder the world.

Imagine a woman who has grown in knowledge and love of herself. A woman who has vowed faithfulness to her own life and capacities. Who remains loyal to herself. Regardless.

Imagine yourself as this woman….

my mantra for the day, picked up from trawlings through (not-so) random blogs