I’m thinkin’ we go about life not reflecting on it all that much, because if we did — when we do — we’d be paralyzed by what’s really going on (frfr) and then everything would
Work unfinished, meals uncooked, homework incomplete, dirty things unclean,
A few years ago I wrote and posted a poem that cried out for others to have my back as dependably as I have theirs. At the time I did not know how deeply most Black women desire such support, that my experience was more than just an individual expression of what seemed to be a momentary succumbing to whatever weight of responsibility I was feeling. I did not know it was my connection to the collective, to how pervasively persistent a feeling it was among others who present as I do — a melanin-rich, woman-identifying human being too often caping for the world, too often left out in the cold by the world,
too often still returning to the rescue — bare-backed, and bare-chested.
The other day or so I saw another meme, prompted by the recent egregious arrest of Georgia State Representative Park Cannon after the atrociously staged signing of the state’s gross voter suppression law (Jim Crow 2.0). The meme reads something like, “Black women saved democracy with their votes. Now it’s time for democracy to save their votes.”
And the images were before me — Stacey Abrams and Park Cannon.
And the questions formed, like — Where were the flowers for Black women’s prowess when Rep. Cannon knocked on a wrongly shut door — keeping private what should have been public? Since when does a knock on a door warrant aggressive arrest, … while storming the nation’s capitol warrants widely smiling selfies?
But we know the answers. These are really more sarcastic statements.
Yet there are questions which demand real answers, like — How do we (frfr) establish permanent policies and legislation that create and defend an equitable, democratic society in which every single being in this nation can enjoy full freedom?
However we do it, it will not happen without Black women.
I appreciate Janie’s grandmother’s lament that Black women are the mules of this world. (Their Eyes Were Watching G~d, Zora Neale Hurston) It’s as accurate as it is despairing. Today, I’d begrudgingly admit that we are the wombs of the world — bearing, nurturing, life-giving. From our view comes a wide perspective of all that matters for the highest good with effective pathways of how to get there, including everyone. But like my Big Mama, we also require a strict standard of integrity that those who are self-centered often choose to resist. And that’s when the womb’s strength wields its power to protect and advance the greater good over selfish ambition.
There are humans of all ethnicities and identities across this globe who have cared well for Black women in our personal and collective relationships. I have yet to witness, though, any of them come through in clutch moments like Black women do. Whether this is our sole plight or not during this period in this lifetime, I cannot confirm. I just know this is what we do. I know that we keep doing it because it’s needed — and to be honest, we must also experience a level of fulfillment from it as well — or else we would not persist.
So, what do I want — for me, for us? I want our flowers. To be commensurately regarded wherever we go, in whatever capacities we serve this world — without struggle, without a fight — freely given to us as we give to the world.
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