not your mule, not your mammy | black women’s labor for justice, liberation + healing

So Ala-damn-bama…and the rest of ‘Murikkka:

Keep your empty thanks and fleeting acknowledgements. 

BE BETTER! DO BETTER!

First Light of Hanukkah:

The Light of Reason that teaches us to see the difference between right and wrong. 

— Secular Humanistic Judaism

I’ve been sitting in this query about black women living lives steeped in justice, liberation and healing work and the tenuous line between our indigenous and intuitive heritages as healers and the deplorable history of our being enslaved to labor as mammies, wet-nurses and caretakers for white families while our loved ones suffered. This centuries-old constrictive narrative gets played out again and again on the daily, in fiction and in real life.

We become the martyrs and saviors. Only to be discarded, degraded, discredited, marginalized and erased. (Need recent receipts?: Activist Tarana Burke — #MeToo originator — being de-centered on the cover of Time to make space for popstar Taylor Swift. 🤔

As I said to friends last night, I’ve become critically clear since the 2016 election about how I engage in this work because I refuse to carry the burdens of folks who are unwilling to do the deep internal work of self-examination and spiritual accounting for the disparities between their talk and their walk.

I recognize that I can’t truly teach folks how to cultivate compassion, skillful understanding or authentic connection without creating the conditions for those energies to arise. Which is why I had to respond to the call to curate sacred space and facilitate contemplative processes and practices of self-inquiry and discernment.

All of which is to say, I take no glory in being anyone’s guru or savior.

I’m reclaiming my time, my brain, my heart, my soul from the myth of black women as superwomen. 

I’m here to walk the path with folx who are committed to living into their wholeness and to living into community, justly and lovingly, by helping to create the conditions for all to experience justice, liberation and healing. 

 

Enlighten your understanding:

Check out Black Macho + the Myth of the Superwoman by visionary truth teller Michelle Wallace (fellow NYU Cinema Studies alum whose writings were foundational in my studies of race, gender and sexuality). 

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