[Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo….Kama ya Pan Afrikan Performing Arts Institute, en the Queen who founded dis wondrous senta…… inspiring stories like these teach me en our communities the infinite possibilities n divine manifestations of working on our own unity first….for those of us who want to know what comes tomorrow en the moons after and what more we can do……here’s  some answers en many questions, not only between the lines but, all around us….]

rivers and other blackness between us (cape town)

who among us carry the sage-secrets of loving?

who among us carry the sage-secrets of loving?

what elders and children

walk with old-time knowledge

of a courageous love

an unapologetic love

an uncompromising love

a healing love

tell me who

and I will sit studently

by the rivers of their feet

washing away all the unknowing I have come to know

relearning a language of integrity honesty passion

scribed on our heart’s tongue

by the ancients

whom I have forgotten

somewhere between a dream and a time-less-ness

across di ocean waters

black sons and dawtahs

black moddahs and fadahs

black auntie uncle sistah and breddah

stretch love fabric

thick and thin

so now we trodding

trying to heal these scars

of broken fibre

that stick up inna wi like macka

who among us carry the sage-secrets of loving?

what elders and children

walk with old-time knowledge

of a compassionate love

an unapologetic love

an uncompromising love

a healing love

tell me who

and I will sit studently

by the rivers of their feet

washing away all the unknowing I have come to know

relearning a language of integrity honesty passion

scribed on our heart’s tongue

by the ancients

whom I have forgotten

forgive us for not having loved you relentlessly

in all cases fear has been our worst enemy

were fear not here

I would kiss you

and feed you food from my mouth

stop you from aching and share a smile

maybe even wait with you

by the roadside for a while

were fear not here

I would give name to these unnamed

spaces of accountability

and responsibility

that flow like rivers between us

sometimes silent but always deep

were fear not here

the full moon radiance of your

vulnerable warrior spirit

washing over me like the sun

bathed in blackness

could mirror and you would shine

and I would shine

and we all could shine brilliantly

who among us carry those sage-secrets of loving?

tell me

where are our elders

where are our children

who walk with the old-time knowledge

of a courageous love

an unapologetic love

an uncompromising love

a healing love

tell me who

and I will sit studently

by the rivers of their feet

I want to unknow all this unknowing that I have come to know

I want to relearn a language of honesty

a language of integrity

a language of compassion

these were scribed on my heart’s tongue

by ancient ancient ancient ones

who somehow I have surely forgotten

please forgive me for not having loved you relentlessly

in all cases fear has been my worst enemy

I cannot promise to love you fearlessly

but I will love you courageously

in spite of my fear

I will love you compassionately

honestly

and with integrity

this love is a healing love

re-branching herself like the iroko tree

roots reaching beyond

the wounds of yesterday

arms outstretched to the promise of tomorrow

you and I and we

the community

the people

we

can

choose

to

stand

firmly

in

love

one love

[ase, ase….]

[dis fundraising petition is reposted with overflowing love, respekt en humility from  http://papainstitute.org ]

dear member of the community:

my name is d’bi.young anitafrika and I am an afrikan-jamaican-canadian dubpoet, monodramatist, and educator. I am contacting you in the hopes that after reading more about papai you will choose to help fund this urgent and necessary project. the pan afrikan performing arts institute (papai), of which I am the founder and artistic director is a cultural organization committed to the holistic development of afrikan artists, through the use of self-knowledge, orality, rhythm, political content and context, language, urgency, sacredness, and integrity; eight principles in the sorplusi methodology of biomyth theatre, that I am in the process of developing:

  • papai supports the recovery, healing, mentorship, growth, propagation and ultimate success of continental and diaspora afrikan artists through comprehensive creative, practical, technical, philosophical, administrative, and critical-thinking training in the performance arts, via residencies, courses, and workshops. papai provides the panafrikan artist with the tools to assert, manage, promote, and professionally develop ourselves while formulating a methodology to house our creativity.
  • papai is also devoted to the exploration, preservation, and expansion of afrikan oral storytelling traditions within and outside of afrika through it’s centre for research.
  • and thirdly papai is invested in the arts-education paradigm shift that the sorplusi methodology and biomyth theatre represent; founded on a system of critical thought-analysis, accountability-responsibility, and love for the earth and ourselves within it, the sorplusi method inspires artists to be conscientious human beings and conscientious human beings to become artists.

I was born and raised in jamaica and as an emerging artist, I always desired mentorship in developing a personal system of art-making and dissemination grounded in knowledge of self and community. throughout the years I have had the great fortune of being raised by many villages and being mentored by some incredible doers and thinkers starting with my mother and grandmother. all of their guidance and support taught me that in the absence of what I need, I must create from what I have been given. papai is for every afrikan artist who has ever felt neglected, unsupported, uncelebrated and left to fall through the cracks of life; whether amateur or professional,  emerging, mid-career or established, my vision is that papai will house our whole selves as we regain our rituals and cycles of afrikan oral storytelling traditions. and provide the necessary resources for us to soar beyond our wildest spiritual, creative and professional dreams.

currently papai is home to a school of monodrama and a school of storytelling for youth. in the near future we hope to also nurture a main theatre, a centre for research of afrikan oral traditions, a library, green arts project, and a plethora of other programs and services including artist consultation and mentorship, weekly townhalls and performances, and the annual vuvuzela! monodrama festival and storyteller (un)conference. we also envision housing the me/we funding drive, an in-house funding system for projects that emerge from our student body.

papai’s school of monodrama is directed at young adults ages 18-35. the program presently hosts 5 students, tuition-free, in its three month biomyth monodrama residency: phillip cowie from the cape flats, mbali vilakazi from cape town, siphumeze khundayi from the eastern cape, jennifer bryant from the united states and danielle lee williams from canada. we meet twice per week for three hours; there I teach a curriculum based on biomyth theatre and the sorplusi principles. each student creates a solo show which is then presented to the public at the end of the program. papai’s other program is the  school of storytelling for youth. it is geared towards learners ages 4-16 and is a joint initiative between the pan african market and papai. I facilitate tuition free storytelling sessions for children and youth bi-weekly on saturday mornings from 10am-12pm. the curriculum includes storytelling, games, discussions, art tours and other stimulating creative activities.

currently, there is no one organization in cape town or in the rest of south afrika that provides pan afrikan artists with a wide artistic skill-set that enables them to professionalize their art, including teaching them how to conceptualize an idea, nurture the idea, manifest the idea, garner support for it, market it, stage it, and finally professionally and personally benefit from the entire process.  the institute is based on the premise that everyone is a storyteller, and gives the artist a solid theoretical, methodological, practical, pedagogical, and administrative approach to the art of art-making dissemination. artists get the opportunity to reflect on their lives while developing a personal creative system that they can utilize when they need to generate art. this system is primarily concerned with developing a sense of integrity on the part of the artist for the work that they create, and for themselves within the work. the artist is always implicated in their art and the dialogue between them and their audiences is always open.

papai aims to mirror in many ways the objectives of your organization and it is for this reason that I have contacted you, in the hopes that you would take into consideration supporting papai through a financial contribution to our institute. this contribution will help us to grow and develop philosophically, ideologically, socio-politically, and economically as well as assist us in further providing tuition free education to afrikan artists. you can make you donation through our website as well as find out more about papai at http://www.papainstitute.org and about me athttp://www.dbiyoung.net.

I can be contacted via email at artisticdirector@papainstitute.org or via telephone at    +27(0) 760 889 025.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for you contribution.

in solidarity

d’bi.young

founder and artistic director of papai

check dis brudda's site out @ http://www.youdunknow.org

[ nakupenda….bless you dada and your family, and all those around you….infinite gratitude for all the positive transformashuns in our shared spaces, diverse and intersecting journeys with our growing, revolushunary villages….wanikumbusha kila siku pamoja tunaweza! Pamoja tunafika!  ase

In the words of another brudda in solidarity,”You Dun Know D’bi we will be (re)uniting very soon….” ]

The q_t werd : has evolved into dis’ present incarnation from its seeding, in Tdot en Vancouver,

five years ago…

[en in the spaces between, from before, long long long ago, there were 9(+1) dadas na baba na mama

Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo…..Sahani? ya…….Giza? ya……..]

Dis’ doc (in the works of becoming a series) is the love child of revolushunary villages

(rebuilding en dialoguing) in Hamilton, Tdot, Nairobi, Joburg & Kampala.

Dis’ is our nekkyd truth, a.k.a  real talks, about these visions we have on our quest of re-educating not only ourselves, but others, in the practice of freedom n’ liberation: where every moon is afrikan hirstory month, every day i(nvolve)s building solidarity within our diversity n peacemaking

[In the spaces between: we develop as a collective with all the means we have, our biomythdramas, inspired by the artists who’ve studied and performed (with the core principles being developed by d’bi young of) anitafrika! dub theatre, nourished by our ancestral memories, nurtured with the legacies of indigenUS en pan-afrikan warriors]

Dis’ is us, no apologies or excuses, jus’ as is, on a journey of  healing(selves) en re/claiming our destinies.

Hadithi? Hadithi?

Hadithi njoo…

[B is for bredrin en dadas in solidarity: our (vision) quest is to implement queer/trans youth arts collective/programs & circles for healing and self recovery in East & South Afrika in collaboration with anitafrika! dub theatre: an intersection of radical creativity, activity, and thought, human positive and moyo wa afrika: a coalition of Afrikans on the continent and in the diaspora who are committed to the reclamation of Indigenous Afrikan spiritualities, knowledge systems, economic praxis, and resources as the only viable means of addressing the colonially-induced dis-ease and dysfunction plaguing our peoples….

Lakini kwanza….]

A is for anitafrika! dub theatre: founded by artistic director d’bi.young in spring 2008 under the mentorship of visionary dub artist ahdri zhina mandiela, adt is a radical arts initiative rooted in the orplusi principles of storytelling, being developed by d’bi.young.

The 7 living/en/working principles are 

language, orality,

political context (or protext),

rhythm, urgency, sacredness, and integrity:

fundamental tools in the (re)emerging genre of bio-myth-solo-performance storytelling or ‘dubbin solo’,

according to artistic director d’bi.young.

[en between the lines: the Q_t werd is a documentary series/work in progress, charting the evolution of these principles  en reclaiming ancestral legacies……]

Through the intersection of these principles, the theatre seeks to explore and expand the relationship between the storyteller, their village(s), and transformation.

herstory

adt! is inspired by the seminal work of dubpoetry visionaries anita stewart and ahdri zhina mandiela. trained during the early to mid eighties at the jamaica school of drama (now the edna manley college of visual and performing arts), anita stewart wrote her thesis dubbin theatre: dub poetry as a theatre form on the progressive movement of dubpoetry into a theatrical realm which radically dramatized both the socio-economic tribulations of the jamaican people, as well as their potential for rebellion against their oppressors.

in her unpublished manuscript stewart identifies four major elements of the then emerging artform of dubpoetry — music, language, politics and performance — as bridges between the personal and the political and vice versa. stewart’s early documentation and analysis of dubpoetry as a working people’s socio-political movement, provide the primary lens through which adt! focuses.

in the late eighties early nineties, ahdri zhina mandiela coined and further developed the term dub theatre in reference to her own evolving work as a dub aatist. in the prelude to her dark diaspora… in dub: a dub theatre piece she defines dubtheatre as dramatized stage presentation comprised of varying performance component, including an indispensable/uniquely tailored dance language threading thru oral/choral work proliferating with endemic musical elements.

d’bi.young is a second generation dubpoet who learnt the artform from her her mother anita stewart and her mentor ahdri zhina mandiela. young is building on the foundational work of stewart and mandiela by developing dubpoetry/dubtheatre theory and practice through anitafrika! dub theatre: a launch pad of artistic training that locates itself within art for social change.

En A is for the legacies of audre lorde, that’s wassup!

Dream/songs from the moon of Beulah land I-V

I

How much love can I pour into you I said

Before it runs out of you

Like undigested spinach

Or shall i stuff you

Like a ritual goose

With whatever you think

You want of me

And for whose killing

Shall I grow you up

To leave me

To mourn

In the broken potsherds

Upon my doorstep

In silent tears of the empty morning?

But I’m not going anywhere you said

Why is there always

Another question

Beyond the last question

Answered

Out of your mouth

Another storm?

It’s happening

I said

II

Whenever I look for you the wind

Howls with danger

Beware the tree arms scream

What you are seeking

Will find you

In the night

In the fist of your dreaming

And in my mouth

The words became sabers

Cutting my boundaries

To ribbons

Of merciless light

IV.

You say I yam

Sound as a drum

But that’s very hard to be

As you covers your ears with academic parchment

Be careful

You might rip the cover

With your sharp nails

And then I will not sound at all.

To put us another way

What I come wrapped in

Should be familiar to you

As hate is

What I come wrapped in

Is close to you

As love is

Close

To death

Or your lying tongue

Surveying the countries of our mouths.

If I were drum

You would beat me

Listening for the echo

Of your own touch

Not seeking

The voice of the spirit

Inside the drum

Only the spreading out shape

Of your own hand on my skin

Cover.

If I ever really sounded

I would rupture your eardrums

Or your heart.

V.

Learning to say goodbye

Is finding a new tomorrow

On some cooler planet

Barren and unfamiliar

And guiltless.

It costs the journey

To learn

Letting go

Of the burn-out rockets

To learn  how

To light up space

With the quick fiya of refusal

Then drift gently down

To the dead surface of the moon.

Kesho……The (A, B, en C’s Of the) Q_t werd in dub video

Press Release

 ( aka. the truth about our stories: revisited)

The q/t werd is our [epic of a] quest for unity within our diversity.

A mystic, organic, us/folk driven caravan of  real talks with (en legends of) people we love, respekt and admire, and need to get to know betta .

The series examines the fragmentation and intersections of our diversity and charts the growth of our communities through interviews with a diverse bunch of POC, and topical themes from identity politics, community accountability, using the arts for revolushunary change to ethics and guides in dating and non-monogamous relationships and survivor accounts

It uh go (go) something like

 vlog(s)

#1 a is for (mama) afrika

#2 b is for bredrin en dadas in solidarity

#3 c is for colour spill productions

http://soundcitizen.com/interview-nneka-nigerias-new-messenger/

#4  d is for (the spaces between) dini ya msambwa (lukemi en santeria)

#5  e is for (the link between) Elijah Masinde (and Elijah Wilson)

lakini leo ni leo ni monday is for medusa, the official opening of the word! sound! powah! (graduation) fest of the artists in residence at anitAFrika dub theatre……the fiya, wota, earth en air this time, in this place here (aka. tdot), is blessed

En so (mpaka) kesho, it only makes sense that we shud tell you mo’ about the art of nneka en nneke, in the Q/T werd, au siyo?

hadithi? hadithi? hadithi njoo…..

[re/posted]scribbles from the den

When the idea was first hatched to put forward South Africa’s candidacy for the 2010 World Cup, it seemed a far-fetched dream. And when FIFA actually awarded the tournament to South Africa, it was, in the view of many, a gamble destined to fail. However, after six years of turmoil, controversy and acrimony later, South Africa is finally set for the 2010 World Cup tournament.

For the next month, (legitimate) concerns about the financial toll of the tournament on South Africa’s economy, the absence of concrete benefits for large swathes of the South African population, or about FIFA’s stifling rules will be put on the backburner as the world enjoys the beautiful game.

Dori Moreno

Dori Moreno is one of those unapologetically afflicted by ‘World Cup Fever’:

I have been waiting for the World Cup to arrive ever since the announcement was made that it would be hosted in South Africa. It’s difficult to get excited about something happening so far into the future. But now, the World Cup is upon us, and in just 2 more sleeps, South Africa will face Mexico in the kick off game of the 2010 World Cup. And South Africa has woken up and is alive with energy, passion and enthusiasm.

 ‘Today, the Bafana Bafana team took to the streets of Sandton, Johannesburg in an open top bus. South African fans came out en masse to celebrate and get a glimpse of their national team. The vibe was indescribable and when the Soweto Marimba Youth League played the national anthem, I confess to being moved to tears from the sheer emotion and energy of the event.


‘I think even the die-hard pessimists out there will struggle not to get caught up in the positive energy that will carry us all on a cloud for the next month. To everyone out there, I say, ENJOY! To all the visitors to our awesome country, feel it, live it and fall in love. It’s time for AFRICA!!!!’

Jeanette Verster’s Photography

And talking about the June 9 ‘United We Stand for Bafana Bafana’ parade organised in Sandton to encourage South Africans to show their support for their national team, Jeanette Verster publishes a colorful picture essay that vividly captures the national excitement.

Brand South Africa Blog

Brand South Africa Blog hopes that the unity and patriotism demonstrated in the run-up to the World Cup will last long after the tournament:

‘The past few months have been an incredible sight. Road works, bridges being built and the most spectacular, the giant eye which watches over all of us from the entrance to the V&A Waterfront. To say I feel proud would really be an understatement, although true. Undeniably through all of this is the tangible feeling of patriotism, excitement and unified spirit in the air.

‘Flags, Zakumi’s (official World Cup mascot), soccer jerseys everywhere makes me feel that we can unite as a country, evident in the progress made.

‘*** I love SA ***

‘The feeling I hope for South Africa is that we stay this way long past the end game is played. Everyone is watching and can see that through working together and progress, we can be pushed into another league and be part of a set of countries people all of the world would like to visit sometime in their life.

‘So, Bafana, we are behind you 150%, make us proud and do your best.

‘Visitors to South Africa, our country is beautiful, take the opportunity to visit places off the beaten track you’ll be pleasantly surprised and p.s. don’t forget to shop!’

Constitutionally Speaking

Even as the excitement builds up, there is anger just beneath the surface over a number of (FIFA-inspired?) decisions which do not benefit South Africans. One such issue is the apparent blanket ban on public gatherings in many municipalities for the duration of the World Cup. Constitutionally Speaking argues that:



‘If this is true, it would mean that parts of South Africa are now effectively functioning under a state of emergency in which the right to freedom of assembly and protest have been suspended. This would be both illegal and unconstitutional. Other reports have suggested that such orders were indeed given, but that the police are now backtracking – probably because the police have realised that they are breaking the law and that the order, in fact, constitutes a grave breach of the law and the Constitution.

‘It is a sad day indeed when the police itself become a threat to our democracy and our rights because Fifa and the government want us all to behave and shut up for the next month and to forget about our democratic rights.’

Scribbles from the Den (and betwixt en between the lines: a video diary of the ‘Q[/t]’ werd)

Scribbles from the Den takes us back 20 years to a memorable World Cup game which is now part of the football folklore and which credited to have changed the World Football Order in favor of African countries:

‘Exactly 20 years ago on June 8, 1990 at the Giuseppe Maezza Stadium in Milan, Italy, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, “a humble team with an insignificant past” to quote the Miami Herald, defeated Argentina, the star-studded defending World Champions led by Diego Armando Maradona, in a thrilling Italia ’90 World Cup opening game that came to be known as the “Miracle of Milan”…



‘The victory over Argentina was merely the beginning of Cameroon’s Cinderella story which came to an end only after England ousted the Lions in an epic quarterfinal game that is also part of World Cup folklore. Cameroon’s brilliant run in Italia ’90 in general, and its historic win over Argentina in particular reverberated around the world and changed the Football World Order forever…

‘The aftershocks from that memorable Friday afternoon at the Giuseppe Maezza Stadium would be felt years later first with FIFA increasing the number of African teams taking part in the World Cup from two to five, then with the “browning” of European leagues which opened their doors to players from the continent and in the process unearthed African football prodigies such as “King” George Weah of Liberia, Same Eto’o of Cameroon and Didier Drogba of Cote d’Ivoire.’

Up Station Mountain Club

As the football fiesta goes on in South Africa, Charles Taku, a lead counsel at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, wonders whether Africa has any reason to celebrate as many states turn 50:

‘Africa is sick; very sick indeed. It is safe to state that at 50, there is nothing to celebrate. Rather than celebrate, Africa should be engaged in a moment of soul searching to find out where we went wrong and to generate ideas about how to resolve the myriad problems afflicting the continent…



‘There is no gainsaying that Africa is a victim of its colonial heritage. It is also true that many African problems are self inflicted. For that reason, according to Peter Schwab, Africa is its own worst enemy.

‘As Africa enters the second half of the century, there is a compelling need for it to eschew all pretensions to celebration and to use the opportunity of the moment to search for viable solutions to its plethora of problems. Our collective failure enjoins us to do a lot of soul searching at this point of our history rather than celebrate a failed past in anticipation of a bleaker future. Africa and the black race in general need to take their destiny into their own hands once again. Time has come for all black people of this world to invoke the spirits of Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, CLR James, the Osagyefo Mwalimu and others whose mere mention of name give us the inspiration, courage and hope to start all over again, in seeking a path of glory they once laid out for us.

The time to build and improve on what they started for our collective survival in a mercilessly competitive world is now. Waiting for dictators that preside over the destiny of most of the continent at present to pave that path to glory is simply foolhardy, if not suicidal.”



Kumekucha

Kumekucha explains how he believes the ruling elite plan to rig the August Referendum for the proposed new Kenyan Constitution:

‘Folks I am afraid that I have more bad news for you concerning the new constitution most of us are yearning for. Let me start by confessing that for a person with my years of experience I was rather naïve to believe that those who own Kenya would ever allow for an electoral system that they did not have any control over. The truth is that the so called “tamper-proof” electoral roll has already been tampered with and non-existent voters introduced. And since it is NOT the same electoral roll that we will go to the general elections with, the only conclusion is that the intention is to rig the August 4th Referendum.

‘The game plan by the powerful owners of Kenya is for the NO camp to catch up with the YES majority so that the difference is around 20% or less. What will then happen is that NO will win with a very slim majority. Enough to deny most Kenyans what they are yearning for so much that they can no longer sleep too well. Those wh o have read the document and realize the sweeping changes it will bring into the country and the deadly blow it will deal to impunity.

‘What really scares me is that so far these powerful forces have been able to get things done through the NSIS and have even influenced the judiciary to make certain bizarre rulings. To me that is evidence enough that they are quite capable of going ahead with their well laid plan even as the president tires himself crisscrossing the country campaigning for a new constitution.’


BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS

* Dibussi Tande blogs at Scribbles from the Den.

 

Preface: Reflections of light

…..In a revolutionary manner, black women have utilised mass media (writing, film, video, art, etc.) to offer radically different images of ourselves. These actions have been an intervention. We have also dared to move out of our “place” (that is away from the bottom of everything, the place this society often suggests we should reside). Moving ourselves from manipulatable objects to self-empowered subjects, black women have by necessity threatened the status quo……This challenge to the status quo has generated serious anti-black female backlash that combines fierce racism ( en homophobia) with antifeminism…..this backlash requires that those of us who are aware be ever vigilant in our efforts to educate one another, and all black people, for critical consciousness. Backlash, from whatever source, hurts. It retards and obstructs freedom struggle. Intense attacks help create a context of burnout and despair.  

It is crucial that black women and all our allies in struggle, especially progressive black men, seize the day and renew our commitment to black liberation and feminist struggle….

blogger’s note: I give thanks for the sistas en mamas who pour their heart and soul into practising and teaching balance, truth, justice and love.  So, in honour of African Liberation Day, these healing words are excerpts from sisters of the yam: black women and self recovery by bell hooks & Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde. Ase. Ase. Ase. Ase O…..

 In her essay (Eye to Eye), Audre Lorde urges black females to put our struggle to self actualise at the center of our daily life. She taught us,

Learning to love ourselves as black women goes beyond a simplistic insistence that “black is beautiful”. It goes beyond and deeper than the surface appreciation of black beauty, although that is certainly a good beginning.

But if the quest to reclaim ourselves and each other remains there, then we accept another superficial measurement of self, one superimposed upon the old one and almost as damaging, since it pauses at the superficial. Certainly it is no more empowering.

And it is empowerment – our strengthening in the service of ourselves and each other, in the service of our work and future – that will be the result of this pursuit

We have known, and continue to know, the rewards of struggling together to change society so that we can live in a world that affirms the dignity and presence of black womanhood. In many ways Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self Recovery is a manifestation of that joy and an expression of the awareness that we must be ever vigilant – the struggle continues…..

 

 

Introduction: Healing Darkness

Living as we do in a white supremacist capitalist partriachal context that can best exploit us when we lack a firm grounding in self and identity (knowledge of who we are and where we’re coming from), choosing “wellness” is an act of political resistance. Before many of us can effectively sustain engagement in organised resistance struggle, in black liberation movement, we need to undergo a process of self recovery that can heal individual wounds that may prevent us from functioning fully…..

It is important that black people talk to one another, that we talk with friends and allies, for the telling of our stories enables us to name our pain, our suffering and to seek healing…..

I: Seeking After Truth

We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other  until it becomes a habit because what was native has been stolen from each other, the love of black women for each other. But we can practive being gentle with each other by being gentle with that piece of ourselves that is hardest to hold, by giving more to the brave bruised girl child within each of us, by expecting a little less from her gargantuan efforts to excel. We can love her in the light as well as in the darkness, quiet her frenzy towards perfection and encourage her attentions towards fulfillment…as we arm ourselves with ourselves and each other, we can stand toe to toe inside that rigorous loving and begin to speak the IMPOSIBBLE – to one another. The first step toward genuine change. Eventually, if we speak the truth to each other, it will become unavoidable to ourselves.

Audre Lorde, “Eye to Eye: Black Women, Hatred, and Anger”

Healing takes place within us as we speak the truth of our lives….commitment to truth telling is thus the first step in any process of self recovery…telling the truth about one’s life is not simply about naming the “bad” things, exposing horrors. It is also about being able to speak openly and honestly about feelings, about a variety of experiences. It is fundamentally not about withholding information so as to exercise power over others….

hence, it must be remembered that to be open and honest in a culture of domination, a culture that relies on lying, is a courageous gesture. Within white-supremacist capitalist partriarchal culture, black people are not supposed to be “well”. This culture makes wellness a “white” luxury. To choose against that culture, to choose wellness, we must be dedicated to truth. By giving up the illusory power that comes from lying and manipulation and opting instead for the personal power and dignity that comes from being honest, black women can begin to eliminate life threatening pain from our lives

II: The Joy of Reconciliation

Healing inner wounds makes reconciliation possible. Reconciliation is one of my favourite words. Evoking our capacity to restore to harmony that which as been broken, severed, and disrupted. The very word serves as a constant reminder in my life that we can come together with those who have hurt us, with those whom we have caused pain, and experience sweet communion.

To be at peace, black women, especially those among us who have been deeply wounded and hurt, must release the bitterness we hold within us. Bitterness is like a poison. When it’s inside us, it spreads even to the parts of the self that allow us to feel joy and a spirit of celebration. Yet many of us choose to hold onto pain through the cultivation of bitterness and an unforgiving heart….when we give ourselves love and peace, we can give these gifts to others. It’s really impossible to live a life in love while hoping that harm and hurt will come to others…

Again, I think it is important that we remember that forgiveness does not mean that we cease to assertively identify wrongs, hold others to account, and demand justice…..this is the true realization of justice – that we want what is peaceful and life sustaining for all and not just for ourselves.

…..we have to forgive with our whole hearts. If we forgive in words but continue to harbour secret resentment, nothing really changes. When forgiveness happens, when there is compassion, the groundwork for reconciliation is possible. For me that is the ultimate joy: That we learn that there are no broken bonds that cannot be mended, no pain that cannot be assuaged

III Touching the Earth

…..Collective black self recovery takes place when we begin to renew our relationship to the earth, when we remember the way of our ancestors. When the earth is sacred to us, our bodies can also be sacred to us……

Ase.O

we have to start where we from.

change/ing our patterns is long term.

gotta use what we got.

share/ing our resources,

and this is not new.

we need to work on our own unity first.

 

so in the spirit  of  critically examining our gaps and tools,

here is an/other teacher,

one of my (revolushunary) guides in the path of story telling and teaching community.

 story telling for social change