The Passionate Fruit

women, narratives, and social justice within constructed spaces of blackness

Archive for the tag “BLACK WOMEN”

A forgotten battleground: Women’s bodies and the civil rights movement | Women Under Siege Project

A forgotten battleground: Women’s bodies and the civil rights movement | Women Under Siege Project.

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Lucille Clifton: won’t you celebrate with me

ImageI attended a yoga retreat designed for women of color in 2010 and the experience was spectacular. To date, I am in contact with several of the sisters from that magical weekend in the Georgia mountains in Dahlonegna.  Ba-by, the Great Mother was working wonders.

As I’m in the throws of transition not unlike the process of transition that women experience when in labor, I was reacquainted with this wonderful poem gifted to me by one of the sisters from the retreat, Octavia.  I have yet to meet a woman graced with the name Octavia that is not powerful beyond measure.

She wrote the following on the back of the poem,

“I keep this poem close to me–

I just wanted to share it with you–“

I am extending the gift, passing the blessings on to those that stop by

The Passionate Fruit:

Image

won’t you celebrate with me

By: Lucille Clifton

won’t you celebrate with me

what i have shaped into a kind of life?

i had no model.

born in babylon

both nonwhite and woman

what did i see to be except myself?

i made it up here on this bridge between

starshine and clay,

my one hand holding tight

my one hand;

come celebrate with me

that everyday something

has tried to kill me

and has failed.

Wounds of Passion

bell hooks takes her reader on a remarkable journey of writing, love, and sexuality from her first contact with this awareness growing up in rural Georgia through her Professorship and beyond.  While all along the way demonstrating for us how one might navigate, negotiate, translate and deconstruct engagements with love.  Not only love of another but also love of self, community, and journey.

Sisters have consistently since slavery managed both their individual and gendered sexuality.  I would argue that since slavery Black women have experienced the need to navigate a socially constructed defining spectrum that spans from hypersexualized, with a beast like insatiable appetite for sex through the “clean good girl”. Her legacy unfolds as a pathway for the lineage of the African slave to thrive.  Black women are the masters of “taking one for the team” meaning, sacrificing her mind and body so that the collective might reach beyond survival to thrive.  I will say that the Mission is accomplished, yes there still exists various vulnerable and both inequitable issues among the community; however, when compared to our Ancestral beginnings in America…we are thrivers.

The American Black woman has spent her existence in a metaphorical hard hat and work boots deconstructing this mythicized sexual identity, to create an identity that Grandmothers often framed, “stepping out of the gutter smelling like a rose” once again as a collective this time sacrificing her individual sexual identity and her womb power.

I see a new opportunity on the horizon with the young warrior princess as she demonstrates what it can look like to unleash sexual individuality, a love and uninhibited sense with body.  However, I believe in order to engage in this sexual identity, there must be some sort of intergenerational conversation among Sisters.  A discussion that intersects a reprieve from the historicity of sexuality defined for Black women with the sacred power of the womb and the freedom to embrace an individual sexual identity.

A Sister Circle: Alice Walker, Sonia Sanchez & Ruby Dee discuss “Their Eyes Were Watching God”

Alice Walker, Sonia Sanchez & Ruby Dee on “Their Eyes Were Watching God” » onlineJournal | The Liberator Magazine.

Each of these fierce women, Alice, Sonia, & Ruby Dee in their own rite share a unique Ancestral covenant with Zora Neale Hurston.  I would argue Alice Walker’s call from the Great Femine, the Sibyls happened during her discovery of Zora’s unmarked grave.

For Sonia Sanchez, the call from Zora came on an underground journey as a young woman.  The young Sonia emerged, guided by this powerful Ancestral force into the Harlem, NY, and met her messenger “Up From Slavery”, through “The Souls of Black Folks”, and together, “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”

Ruby Dee spoke Zora’s purpose and revealed our purpose, us as her lineage.  Ruby Dee said, “she [Zora] brings us to essences, brings us to the beginning, she brings us to the reasons for being here that we have not considered.”  Ruby Dee explains that through Zora she over-stands the greater purpose for the Africans of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and their legacy. It is a momentous responsibility, an order that could have only been Divinely sanctioned.  She proposes that we were brought to the Americas to demonstrate the nature of the human character.  That’s what’s up, how profound.

I wish for you the level or deeper of enrichment and fulfillment that I received after viewing the Sister Circle.

En~joy

The Matriarch

The Matriarch…

The fuck I care about having the body of a model…

that’s not my purpose, I walk a different path.

I required a vessel with the capacity to birth 6 warriors into this world.

with the strength to transform their socially constructed blackness given to them at birth,

back to their inherent greatness given at conception,

To over-stand their situatedness

to fulfill their Order,

Orders, to lead the next 7 generations of the King

and 2 of the 6 beings are daughters who shared the Womb together, and one of whom entered this world with a veil over her eyes…power

which means…

during the gestation of these future Queens,

I created my grandchildren’s children, my legacy, hence

I Am the Matriarch…

Bow down when I or my Sisters sway through,

with hips and thighs,

that only the King in the man is given keys to unlock,

a force of power to bear down and squat,

I Am the Matriarch.

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