Almost ready 

 

Months ago I said that something was about to go down, and when it did I wanted to be Ready.

Well, it is here.

The moment is here. It has come full force. It is both figuratively and literally hitting us in the face.

 

And, I’m not ready.

I’m overwhelmed.

I’m sad.

I’m nervous.

I’m amped and hypervigilant.

And, still, not ready.

 

Everybody has an opinion – as we’re entitled to. And, as we join ranks, I want to be sure that we remember that as black people and that all that we’ve gone through together, amongst each other – we don’t all learn, and live, and grieve and fight the same way.

 

I want us to remember solace as we stand together, organize, and fight.

 

Let’s not condemn one another for not standing at the front of the lines in protest all across the country.

Let’s not push or force each other to watch #another live, on camera, cold-blooded murder.

Let’s not turn on one another because our solemn expressions aren’t “enough.”

 

Let us unite, in many different forms, but as one.

 

Some of us will write. Some of us will paint. Some of us will express our grief through a song or a dance.

Some of us will pray.

And, some of us will organize, some of us will march and some of us will fight.

Not matter what our roles are – – – no matter what YOUR role is – – – let us remember to stand together.

– Shamira

 

 

 

 

 

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The Answer

Bobby Seale talked extensively about the power of the black vote, last weekend at the Black History and Culture Showcase

He said, “institutionalized racism, backed by law, is only undone by voting.”

Thinking about the idea that a man in a uniform can evoke harm until death on camera and face no punishment – I know that we are more than aware that institutionalized racism is rapid and rampant throughout these United States.

I was awed by the eloquence with which Seale spoke.

I was awed by his ability to recite, with enthusiasm and passion, poems and works from decades ago.

I was awed by the conviction in his voice.  

And, most importantly, I was inspired.  

It is often easiest to find ourselves overwhelmed by all of the wrongdoings that we hear/see/live daily – but, I couldn’t help but feel, last weekend, that Seale has had the answer all along.

The power of the vote.

Infiltrating the system by populating the offices of those that make the decisions that govern the country is the answer. And, it’s the method by which the BPP worked years ago. 

Definitely easier said than done; but, an answer, no less.

I find nothing radical about this notion; for, common sense should tell us that it is inherently right that a group of people should be governed by a group of his and her peers. And, even still, this is a notion that occupies, though in variation, many of the laws that govern the land.

So, it hurts my feelings when people that look like me say that they refuse to vote because none of the candidates are representative of them or their values.

And, it scares me senseless, worrying about the worst case scenario reining true and leading the country.

It feels like we’re starting from the ground. Fortunately, the idiom tells us that, the only way to go is up.

Perhaps it’s time to return to those foundations and principles that struck a chord with us so many years ago.  

If we can organize and educate, we can run for and win elections in order to make better lives for ourselves.

by: Shamira

*Check out Julia’s reaction to the Black History and Culture Showcase.

 

Ready.

No doubt, something big is brewing.

Drumpf is crazy, and apparently so are many other people that live in America. It’s hard for me to tell if we’re just a few days/weeks/months away from something for the books or if this is just the beginning.

I’m in my feelings about what feels like the modern civil rights era for two reasons. The first reason is that I’m still figuring out what my role is through it all. The second reason is, if there IS more to come, who and where are the Martins and Malcolms of our time?

Thinking about the many protests, “riots,” gatherings, etc. that continue to happen across the nation, when push comes to shove, I wonder where I stand. Looking at Chicago, I feel the power, I feel the movement, I feel the justice.

I also feel the plight of uncomfortability, fragility and apprehension.

I’m scared.

I’m nervous.

God knows, I’m not a fighter.

But, that’s what we’re doing now. We’re fighting. Because we have to. Because people are saying, “Make America white again.” Because our bodies are being dragged through the mud, and our babies are being killed on camera and nobody cares.

Nobody cares.

So, now I’m thinking about Harriet Tubman. The ultimate MVP. She helped change the course of life for so many of us and I cannot begin to fathom what she felt. When she knew something had to be done and she did it. She did it well, and she did it over and over again because she had to.

I don’t know if I can be like Brother Malcolm, or Amelia Boynton Robinson or John Lewis or Fannie Lou Hamer.

I don’t know if I can channel the courage of Ella Baker, or Dorothy Height. But, I want to.

Let’s talk about this new renaissance (as my sister calls it).

Media outlets like Blavity, speaking and preaching about all things black.

Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and yes Beyonce, holding it down in the music industry.

Black people are in love with their hair, their skin and their bodies again  #yas

My personal favorites – Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, Clint Smith and Ernestine Johnson – leading the literary way.

And, DeRay McKesson is definitely holding it down and holding his own in the world of politics.  

A lot of good stuff in a lot of different places.

We’re unapologetically black.

We’re woke.

The new wave of “Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud” is now.

And, we’re laying the foundation for the new black messiah.   

Are ya’ll ready?

 

by: Shamira