Archive for connection

7. Drawn Together

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 4, 2008 by alexis

“A combined anti-racist and anti-sexist position drew us together initially, and as we developed politically we addressed ourselves to heterosexism and economic oppression under capitalism.”

What draws your group together? OR What draws you to to the people you organize with?
What are some of the main issues and audiences you address yourselves to?  Use the space below to start a love letter to the movement or movements you are committed to building.  Be sure to let us know who your letter is addressed to!!!

For example queer black New Jersey based scholar, educator and community organizer Darnell Moore says:

to my beloved community of radical radicals: [those who have been colored by race, kept bound by sex/gender normativity, trapped in systems of economic inequality, rendered alien]:

i scribble my judgments/my feelings/my love/my rage/my life: on paper.

i locate my “self” in the dis-located spaces that seek to confine me: on paper

i refuse to be bound, i’m a refugee on a journey constantly scuffling with violent metonyms (it’s hard being a “faggot”) and authoritarian ideals: on paper

if i don’t, then those behind me won’t feel the residual heat of my incensed voice: on paper.

so i write.

i write to produce a perpetual fire that will set ablaze new understandings.

my desire: to watch racist/sexist/classist/ethno-centrist/neo-imperialist/capitalist ideologies and apparatuses go up in flames as if they were hit by a smart bomb, a moronic product of the military state’s own design

i write words that are arbiters and catalysts; they are birthed to produce action, resistance and confrontation.

they are attentively designed to raze structures of power that consign hes, shes, hirs and zhes to marginalized interstices.

so, i write

to demolish inequities and disharmony.

i write to hearten and galvanize a community on the verge of revolution.

i chose not to write for you as if I have perfected the art of masculinist story telling (and I don’t want to), so i write in solidarity with you.

yet, i chose to not only write with you, but also:

to stand beside you…

to be your co-conspirator in the struggle for justice…

to carry you when your have been weakened by rhetoric, invectives and state-sanctioned regulations…

and if your blood is spilled by war/abuse,

body destroyed by poverty/neglect

or if your voice is silent because of fear/laws then i will write ever the more.

i will stand until my black knees begin to weaken,

fight injustice, beside you, until humanity’s sin is banished to the background of a new global agenda

and i will be: existing in unity so that we may disrupt “power.”

darnell l. moore

Post your letters as comments here or send them to us at brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com!

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21. To be free

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 4, 2008 by alexis

“If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.”

What does freedom look like to you? How are freedom and justice connected?

Complete the sentence

If I were free, it would mean______________________________________________________________ since my freedom __________________________________________________________.

Feel free to make an illustration of what freedom looks like to you.

High school english teacher Emily Chavez shared this exercise with her students

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Click here genres-of-freedom-english-ii-to-be-free-responses to download example responses from Hillside High School students in Durham.

Kriti Sharma is a community based biologist, supporting and affirming life.

Kriti Sharma is a community based biologist, supporting and affirming life.

Kriti Sharma of UBUNTU and the UBUNTU Grows community garden writes:

If my dadima was free, she would have land to whom she could give generously, and who would give her back a humbling abundance of vegetables and spices, fruit trees, birds.  She would have land that would meet her, dance with her, offer her countless gifts for every measure of effort so lovingly given.  She would invite whomever she wanted to come visit her there, and even that at times of her own choosing.  Yet she was married at the age of 13, giving generously for decades to the rocky land of a marriage that grew so little of what sustained her.

If my nanima was free, she would tend to her own body with devotion, her skull-splitting migraines and gnawing anxiety subsiding to the peace of knowing there was nothing to do, nothing more important than her endlessly generous body healing, piece by piece.  By the grace of turmeric, aloe, amla, and some heavy doses of aspirin and Tiger Balm for good measure, she would love herself to health as fervently as she’d love her family to full bellies and healed wounds.  She would know her body as an end unto itself.

If I were free, I would stop the machine that keeps churning desi women out to gratefully give our very lives up, as moths die ecstatically in flame.  I would notice when I find myself acting in ways that compromise my health and well-being, and add to the suffering of other women of color.  I would be lucid about my confusion, acknowledging the force of patterns set into motion from the time of my birth, from the time of parents’ birth, from a time almost beyond memory.  I would uncover my inheritance, like heavy, buried treasure.

If my daughters were free, they would be born awake, their third eyes open.  Being born, they would know, immediately, where they were born: into oppression, which is like a wheel that was spun long ago and that we spin again and again and again through our lives and collective actions, giving it momentum.  With clear insight into the sources of their suffering, and the skills to end that suffering, they would act with a vigilance and power such as the world has never seen, slowing, slowing, slowing the wheel down.

My dadima is free.  She gives life to basil and marigolds, neighbors and children.  She laughs hard at good jokes, is good company to herself, and is learning against all odds to read.

My nanima is free.  She’s born now into another body, one that she’ll have every opportunity to use for good, one that she’ll love fully and well.

I am free.  I hold my life precious and brief, and diligently sow the seeds of liberation while I can, not a moment to lose.

My daughters will be free.  They will face the world bravely.  They will finish their own stories.

for more by Kriti Sharma download a free copy  her zine Moral Revolution below!

Kriti condensed Sarah Hoaglands Lesbian Ethics into Zine form!

Kriti condensed Sarah Hoagland's Lesbian Ethics into Zine form!

Email us your completed sentences and/or illustrations at brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com!