We create as a form of resistance. I've witnessed this in Oakland more than anywhere else I've been. Like they have historically, movement artists like Oree Originol are shaping the face of our fight for justice and giving the people representation as we suffer loss and tirelessly continue to uplift the truth that our communities have value. Oree's painted and drawn portraits of people killed by police to give visibility to state-sanctioned violence and has distributed thousands of his works around the Bay Area and beyond. The portraits mean a lot to me because they record and preserve the message that people of color and black folks are not disposable. The art brings critical imagery to the BLM movement and heightens visibility around harm committed which empowers me to not only demand life, but also get around to making a way to the liberty and pursuit of happiness part.
My political assertion as a young Afro-Latina womyn is that I must connect the pieces of my ancestral history with my visions of the future in order to unlearn the tactics, limitations and rules this nation has taught me. I realize I'm living in a time when new structures and systems must rise. I pray for the strength, leadership and wisdom to be one of the people who excavates the peaceful ways of communities past and innovates a way for here and now.
I pledge to give the radical left's story more life... the story of unapologetic blackness, mujeristas, courageous vulnerability, fierce organizing and environmental transformation. I pledge to tell my story and remember those who came before me in the movement for liberation. I pledge to listen to the stories of others and not confuse them with mine. Although we are connected, I pledge to celebrate the spectrum of differences we exist on. To intentionally know my voice, my lane and my fight.
If you're reading this and you give some thought to what alternatives our communities can create beyond prisons, policing, and imperialism, then I pledge to you. If you're reading this and make some commitment to the most marginalized people in your reach, I pledge to you. We femifest what we speak. We create culture. I pledge to believe that and act like it.
I use the word "creativity" in the photo above because our right to explore free self-expression and live out the spiritual nature of our humanity, is vital to viewing all beings as unique and valuable contributions to "our" planet. Whether its a freestyle, an art project, a gripping conversation, comedy or writing, I say keep up the expression because our internal processes of expression are crucial in making real strides as a community.
#NoDAPL #Blacktranslivesmatter #BlackLivesMatter #womenareperfect