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One of the things that has been on my mind has been solidarity. In part because of a council orientation session I attended a couple weeks ago for my Graduate Students’ Association, but also because I do not encompass all ways of living or inhabiting this world. Yes. I am a black-woman-immigrant, who is a young-educated-citizen, in pursuit of her career. These intersections encompass and speak to certain degrees of privilege and disadvantage, but there are countless more spaces to be inhabited.

But it is not really difference the oppressor fears so much as similarity. He fears he will discover in himself the same aches, the same longings, as those of the people he shitted on. He fears the immobilization threatened by his own incipient guilt. He fears he will have to change his life once he has seen himself in the bodies of the people he has called different. He fears the hatred, anger, and vengeance of those he has hurt.

Cherríe L. Moraga, This Bridge Called My Back, p. 30

There is No Hierarchy of Oppressions.


Audre Lorde

For those of us who live at the shoreline

standing upon the constant edges of decision

crucial and alone

for those of us who cannot indulge

the passing dreams of choice

who love in doorways coming and going

in the hours between dawns

looking inward and outward

at once before and after

seeking a now that can breed

futures

like bread in our children’s mouths

so their dreams will not reflect

the death of ours;

Took a break, but I’m back! Y’all know I couldn’t stay away too long. Take it in, take it in. Dr. Martin Luther King coming through with some Principles for Life. If you follow these alone, you will be Gucci.

T. M. G.

Sunken Place

But as humanity is prone to be inspired by the imitative rather than the initiative qualities of life, there was a tendency in many who had been freed from the slavery toil and soil to efface the traces of their origin and past servitude from a sense of shame and approximate, not to the rugged principles of the pioneers of the struggle, but rather to the antedated patterns of the vanquished class.


Claude McKay, Banana Bottom, p. 42

SPOILER ALERT: This is a response to (not a review of) Get Out. Do NOT READ if you plan on seeing the movie, and haven’t yet.

  1. The Children (young, in white, and being taught by Bada$$)
  2. The Flag (American, with the “gang” pattern in white, red, and blue)
  3. The Men and Women of Colour in Chains (wearing black, some with locs, and a Latino)
  4. The Juxtaposition Between Green Pastures and Desert Land
  5. Mentions of Obama and Trump
  6. References to Slavery, White Oppression, and Black Isolation
  7. The Murder of Blacks and People of Colour by “the System” (politicians, police)
  8. Bada$$ Being Untouched by the Bullets (Luke Cage?)
  9. The Burning Cross and the KKK
  10. The Lynching
Trickery in the system, Put my niggas in prison, All our history hidden, Ain't no liberty given... We been lackin' a vision, And barely makin' a livin', We too worried to fit in, While they been benefittin', Every time you submitted, We all guilty admitted
Joey Bada$$, "Land of the Free"

As I sat down to watch “I Am Not Your Negro,” I thought to myself: “I am going to get angry.” I never anticipated anything else would occur. One is, after all, faced with very few options when confronted with issues of grave injustice: to 1) turn a blind eye; 2) weep in sorrow; or 3) bristle with righteous indignation. In this case, my response was a fourth: smoldering rage. Smoldering, because I was watching a film about a struggle that I had not myself experienced. I am a child of the nineties, not the thirties, forties, fifties, or sixties – my context is different. Rage, because the world presented on the screen had allowed too much, responded too late and with great inadequacy.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore—

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over—

Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

Like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?


Langston Hughes