Letting go of the pacifiers and tools we have developed to survive is a daily challenge. How does one move forward when the very things that once propelled you through your darkest moments are now hindering you?
Music is a big part of my self care practices. I have songs for everything.This summer I deleted most of the gospel music from my music library. When I get really emo and home sick, missing my mother in particular, I fiend for my gospel hits. My mother put me on to Fred Hammond and my old soul gravitated towards Shirley Cesar and Betty Griffin Keller when I was teenager. I think I love gospel music for the same reasons I love rap music, it is fantasy, myths, truths, and reflections of the black experience wrapped in the drama and creativity that happens when Africans make music. I think some call it soul. They both weave stories of our lives with a boldness that speaks to the core of what it means to be human.
On the flip side I can only listen to but so much of both gospel and rap music because with those reflections come the legacy of violence, trauma , self hate, and all the other isms that color our experience as Africans in Amerikkka. The music I’ve used to get through in the past can perpetuate the same things I’m working daily to unlearn and resist.
My use of gospel music as a coping mechanism and false sense of security was blocking my ability to develop sustainable tools for dealing with reality. The tools that are instrumental to this thing called liberation. Its difficult to take the meat and leave the bones in any situation. There are still many songs both rap and gospel that I will use as tools of survival and inspiration but every now and than you gotta clean house and reduce some harm.
Its a difficult tightrope I walk every time I click through my iPod. Music is powerful it can indoctrinate you with your oppressors propaganda while showering you with the strength needed to step back from the myths again and again.
I support black people of all genders and classes getting together to celebrate our beauty and to develop political platforms but the million man march is a joke. It’s political grand standing and theatre at best. Anyone who would follow that slimy shady, sexist, classist, homophobic, megalomaniac, Louis Farrakhan is a fool. I just have to say it. He has done so much damage his hands are stained with Malcom’s blood. With All the resources he has built through his temple and followers in Chicago their impact on the south side should be 10x what it is. He’s just an old time hustling ass preacher who found a nice con in pushing Islam and claiming to continue Elijah Muhammad’s Legacy. It’s really sad and disappointing to see black folks so thirsty for political attention that we would follow that man for another symbolic March.After all the political activity this past year where is the event to build alliances between recently politically active young people and previous generations? We don’t have to agree on everything but can we agree to stop following snakes who continue to degrade women and poor people for starters? Can we agree to put a pause on useless marchers until we build some strategic alliances amongst ourselves that will have a direct impact on the violence of poverty they are using to keep our people in economic and psychological choke holds? Can we try to do this without people trying to build brands, get rich in the process, or trying to become the next mayor/president. Surely we have realized after multiple million men marches and countless black mayors,senators,and even a president that our strengths and solutions ly somewhere else amongst ourselves outside the trappings of respectability, capitalism, and the american political system.
Nestled in the glow of our brown tones side by side, Her curls ticked my nose, the softness of her cheeks warm my body. With her fists she gently beats on my chest and whispers “I just don’t want to be here anymore.”Had to pull her closer as my body silently rang back… “Me neither.”
I’ve held too many people as they weep for their lives. Thirsty for a reason to stay. Silently screaming. Floating on smiles saying “I’m fine” while everything within wants to die.
If you didn’t hear me before please hear me now. We need you. Please love please don’t go! Let’s make our love everything we need to survive.
Let’s love like we’re our own life rafts
built to survive the moments when the waves of sadness come crashing down. Just Let our love. Even when the weight of the world shallows our breaths and bends our backs into prayers and depression. We will find the strength to stand again through the doors unlocked by the moans of our sex magic. Let our love as our bodies collide, sing, and stir divinity together.
Let’s love like we’re our own foundation rooted in the beauty sparked
when our minds touch. My body aches to hear you speak in the moments when we merge. Let our love be our favorite melody in the key of healing. Soothing Restoring Creativity. Please don’t rob me of the freedom I feel when you sing to me. Just let our love carry us like the clever sting of a good read with the power of sharp words.
Love, please hear me now. I need you to survive.
I’ve held too many people as they weep for their lives. Thirsty for a reason to stay. Silently screaming. Floating on smiles saying “I’m fine” while everything within wants to die. Love please don’t go. Let’s be everything we need to survive.