somewhere inbetween the 99 and the 2000s

Black Sunday: Quilombos

Why Black Sunday?: A rant

Quotes to live by [in vain]

It's the point of school to get good grades?

I can just look it all up on Spark Notes, why would I read it myself?

Africa has no money, why would anyone invest there?

This is something a young man had said to his mother on mother's day, as i was seated next to them. it was hard not to crack up laughing, or move, because the restaurant was at capacity. these quotes stuck with me because they were clear examples of the miseducation and ignorance of my kin, my family, my fellow black people.

this is a trend in my work, because i work with people from all walks of life, with focus on the southside of chicago, where investment in education is the last thing elected officials care about. but, beyond that, you cannot teach hunger for knowledge, education, intelligence, etc. you have to want it. people like koonye west and republicans in general want you to believe slavery was a choice. that notion that you, and your ancestors are wholly at fault for your personal predicament, your family predicament, and racial predicament if you are black. critical thinking, pro blackness, and living under the assumption that their is pride in your existence, says otherwise. I use these skills and values often, but On my Black Sunday I will take the time and space to celebrate my ancestors, by relearning their history, my history.

 

*Organizers bridge activism with advocacy= showing up for direct social action, researching and sharing facts and observations around issues and communities, having a clear political analysis, and bringing people into the work - to address, dismantle, and build the powerful [organized people +organized money] structures of conflict and resolution. 

This aspect of organizing must be a coordinated effort. It's not me standing on a street corner alone trying to yell at people to vote. And all the same, it is not me consistently educating all around me on every ignorant thing they say. That sounds like BURNOUT.

 

my private life, is not my public job, which is based in organization, collaboration, and coalition with my co workers, boss, and other orgs. in my private life sometimes i'll be silent, i'll cuss you out, i'll point out your fallacies, and maybe i'll shame you. It may not be 'civil' but it'll happen.

To a friend? not in the same way as a rando i don't know, why not? Public shaming is my favorite lost art, and in these hwite notions of 'civility' y'all have it all wrong. not challenging the status quo, your elders, your partners, your Neighbors.etc.

This spirit of education is one that is chosen. Black liberation in the sense of political education does not start with someone 'teaching it', it starts with desire. 

 

i will not be baited into conversation, in the hopes of finding a middle ground to walk on. i am not a facilitator of ignorance and RIGHTEOUSness. What I do know is that my life experience is real, the marginalized voices i listen to are real, and that reality is fact.

not everyone has a place in the movement, and it's not my job to find you one. You will claim your own liberation or will be an oppressive tool against it. What side are you on?my literal job is to do the work, and bring the people somewhere on that path, sharing my values into my work.  

There's this notion that organizers are to be the jack of all trades, able to perform any task and possess all skills. One of those is the political education of the masses. For me, this means in an organized fashion, with others, with agendas, with willingness to learn.

I want people to want power, to have the ability to make change in their communities. i'm building power, because no issue can be addressed or changed from just one person. i'm not ever going to be the timeless oracle that tells people how to live their life, or ve a regurgitating script of information for you to absorb and educate yourself. Merely, an individual person, apart of two small organizations organizing for mass liberation within and without the rules and limitations of western society. 

There are transactions and there are investments, and the middle ground is self interest. There is selfishness and selflessness, and the middle ground is self interest. We should all act out of self interest - aka do what the fuck we want, and be clear about how it is a manifestation of our goals and values.

I've talked before about how notions of 'ancestor worship' are subjective. Is there record of my ancestors being queer,  [dis]abled , community organizers? Not necessarily, but does that mean they weren't?, absolutely not. Organizing for Black liberation is not a 9-5 job, and never could be. These Western, capitalistic ideas of time and output are linear. Black liberation exists, persists, and is recreated and destroyed in various forms and subsets. Being

a week out from weeklong i have reflected a lot on what my exact self interests are and what my black liberation organizing looks like. and in interrogating my blackness since then, i have found that i must reinvest in my knowledge, not theoretically, or passively, but with planned time, consistently. organizing and studying dissent and campus activism since planning my first action in 2016 has kept veered me off the self-taught path in matters of traditional knowledge seeking. since, mostof my learning and teaching has been based off my experience solely.

However, still getting used to life that is not in crisis, is more sedentary than not, and is more focused on #self expectations and desires rather than those of others, the whole game done switched up y'all.


films.jpg

"The King cannot give me what is mine"


The political education I witnessed today was of cultural traditions telling the history of the Quilombos of Northeastern Brazil, the Palmares. Reenacted in a Portuguese film Quilombo (1984), directed by Carlos Diegues. What I got most out of this film was a real time visualization of Black Liberation and Black Resistance from white people, their imperialism and colonialism.This is not a fantasy film, it is based in fact. And while much of the film is everyday interactions of Quilombos, there are clear narratives of anti whiteness as the root of continued Black culture and most of all, Black life, Black people. 

Based in Quilombo stories and lore, the community depicted was multi racial, but mostly Black, people not dark skinned, and with afro textured kinky hair were there, white people were there, indigenous people were there. Black Liberation is the base of liberation for all people. And for whatever reason, namely racism, we must continually remind people of that, especially other people of color. 

I continually remind people, especially myself, that anti Blackness is global. And within all of my intersections, I am always a target of injustice.

You are a literal manifestation of your ancestors. their organizing, their resistance, the terror done against them, and of course the terror they also inflicted. and what you do with that it your business, and it matters today, right now. to watching this film is to see where i came from, but also validation as to what i am doing. my organizing does not exist in a vacuum, and so long as white people, and their institutions tell you social justic is a new phenomena, that's what the narrative will be. we will have to consistently reinvent the wheel, rather than just looking to our own history as a base for information and validation.

"We will never be slaves again"

Zumbidospalmares.jpg

to watch your ancestors jump to their deaths, drown in the sea, take their own lives in the name of freedom is moving. 

Relearning and reliving this history grounds me and i hope it does the same for you. zumbi,was their last king and was beheaded by the PORTUGUESE. zumbi was born a free black person, and was kidnapped by whites, he escaped at the age of 16 to go back to quilombo, where he eventually claimed power. under Portuguese assault he was betrayed. leaders like him, communities like this, are proof that slavery was not a choice, but resistance was. resistance was brought with some successes, many murders, and genocide of Black and Indigenous peoples in the americas. 

We must remember that our liberation in this country is based in violence. White violence. And we must be critical of notions of 'civility' when it has only benefitted the oppressions of our freedom. I am anti-violence but I accept its history in my community.