Five things you MUST read this week:
We heed the lesson of Esu and forgive what we thought we saw the first time round. All around me are black men so full of love and tenderness for their children that I’m often on the edge of weeping for joy when I see us on the street, give dap to us when we get together. We can let statistics that want to tell one story ‘prove’ one thing to us, but we must watch what is actually happening and seek out stories on the ground; walk to the other side of the mountain to find out the real truth.
There is a difference though, between mere survival and a good life. It’s the difference between having bread in your belly but fear in your head. There are a lot of frightened people in Guyana. They can seem to be in the majority, drowning out all signs of hope. But as long as there are people standing on the street corner, in the rain, holding soggy placards, I know we have still some humanity left. And as long as we have that, we have a chance. Join us. Be the change you want to see.
2. Feminist organisation, Red Thread, along with other progressive movements and people in Guyana, took to the streets in the pouring rain to seek justice for 23-year-old Colwyn Harding. Colwyn alleges that he was raped by police officers and treatment of his extensive injuries was delayed. In this letter, Red Thread outlines what keeps them going amidst the apathy and fear.
I remember the gentle sing-song sound of her Hausa float off the tip of her tongue (a tongue I knew too well and for more than just its words).
3. The passage of Nigeria’s anti-gay marriage bill signals deepening homophobia across the continent as well as criminalisation, not just of same-sex relationships, but of LGBT organisations and persons working with and for these organisations. This tenderly written, playfully erotic story of love and friendship between two Nigerian girls is a timely reminder that queer relationships are part of human desires for connection and community. Enjoy
4. Reports out of St. Lucia are that cases of sexual violence made up more than 30 of the 80 cases on the docket on January 16. These cases included a man charged with the rape of three nine-year-old boys, multiple cases of rape and sex with a minor committed against girls and a man charged with two counts of incest against his daughter.
Activists from St. Lucia are part of CatchAFyah’s Eye2Eye project which seeks to raise awareness about violence against women and girls. Please stay with us for updates about this project and information on how you can get involved.
5. A diverse group of Jouvayists from Haiti, Antigua & Barbuda, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and the diaspora have responded to the #dearCaribbean Blog Carnival call with words, images and lots of love. Check out their stories and don’t forget that you too can share your own with us!
6. A Belizean 19-year-old trans girl was murdered this month. While her family reports that she was killed because of her gender identity expression other reports suggest that the killer’s intentions were to rape her and they murdered her after discovering that she was a trans woman. This most recent murder recalls the murders of trans women in Guyana and Jamaica last year.