At CODE RED for gender justice! we are so proud to have been selected as a communications partner for the upcoming Black Feminisms Forum in Bahia, Brazil!
Look out for some serious black feminist magic over the next few months in the lead up to the September convening.
In the meantime come crash our Black Feminisms reading party! Here are three things you should read right now by black Caribbean women:
Prayer Book For Vanishing is a work of sheer artistic brilliance by Jamaican poet Safiya Sinclair. Below is an excerpt:
they are tourists gawking through
the cages of my poverty,
who take pity in this squalor
then return to far moons.
My black face
a blemish in their photographs.
Each morning the same horse-fly,
milk I must throw out.
The albino sun my enemy.
Whole days spent under cellophane,
under parasol, days wrapped
tight in scalding creams, skin a purge
of litanies. Baking soda. Peroxide. Blue cake-soap.
Witch-doctor fixes for vanishing.
Brooklyn-born and raised, Naomi Jackson, broke our hearts open with this moving, personal piece entitled, “On loving broken women and Brittney Griner“:
It begins, as everything does, with my mother. Schizophrenic and eventually unable to care for her children, my mother vacillated wildly between affection, praise, bouts of intense creativity and joy and seemingly infinite rounds of melancholy, listlessness and abuse. Living with a mother whose mental illness made her behavior erratic and her presence unreliable made me an expert at reading other women, at shaping my needs, desires, and self to fit their moods.
As I move into grown womanhood, I’m shedding this tendency toward accommodation and emotional acrobatics that put other people’s (lovers, friends, colleagues) needs before my own. I get it wrong sometimes, as humans do, but we make the road by walking.
And a CODE RED oldie but a goodie about making home and living life radically on your own terms:
In the historical denial of black womanhood there is of course the denial of black humanity but there is also a freedom from a hetero/sexist scripting of womanhood to be claimed. The denial of femininity offers not just the opportunity to intentionally create femme identities of our own making but to reject what Toni Cade Bambara has called the “madness of masculinity and femininity”. That which was denied you can create a space of freedom not just a space of yearning.