From the prophetic front porch of Ruby Sales–a re-post from social media August 11, 2018.
What is liberation for people of color around the globe?
What should be the goals of our movements for liberation?
Should we imagine liberation as the right to exist and live in the world like the guardians of Empire power? Is liberation the right to sit at the Empire’s table and become an envoy for them and their interests? If the answers are no then how should our resistance and movements reflect no? How does no determine how we speak about liberation and how do we speak about our mission and common struggle and destination.
Finally what does liberation mean for White people? Does it mean the right to keep ownership of the table and maintain the power to put a few more seats at it for people of color who meet your requirements and with whom you feel comfortable? Does liberation mean the right to stay in the small and perverse space of Whiteness or does it mean the right to live fully in the world without a shriveled humanity that is constantly poised for battle and wallowing in inferiority and meaningless? If the answers are no then what should be the mission of your liberation struggles and how should it change your discourse, common struggle and destination?
From photographer Clancy Dunigan, who returned to Whidbey Island last week after accompanying the holy fools of Carnival de Resistance in Philadelphia. See below for some of Clancy’s comments on the artists and the context of this mural.
The curators/artists of this projects were Pedro Ramirez & Eli Sanchez from Mexico City. As you’d expect, they were more than enjoyable to hang with. The symbols are from Puerto Rican culture. The Neighborhood is noticeably represented by said culture–but paved over, close to the L-train, and drugs aplenty. A depressing place to walk, as i did to get beers. The artist wanted to incorporate the indigenous art here. When asked about why a mural here, why these colors & symbols? Pedro said something like:
This neighborhood seems a colorless, cemented hard urban core type of a wasteland [sic]. The property owner peeped over the wall during the painting (several days) and we feel it a gift we give back to the neighborhood. They offer a space. We offer our gift of labor & beauty, culture to culture. It is also important to integrate the Puerto Rican flavor& symbols for the murals physical context.
The young woman image is from the neighborhood. Eli Sanchez painted a portrait of her. Eli also painted the bird figure.Pedro spray painted the halos. These two exemplary artists were immediately accessible with their openness and embrace of new friends at the Carnival de Resistance. They had little time to themselves as all the carnival folk wanted to sit and hang with them. A wonderful Big Tent our Carnival hosts and staff provided. A mountain top I sadly departed from.
A compelling charge from the late-and-still-very-present Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon (January 3, 1950 to August 8, 2018):
…it’s an abomination for those of us that hear, to be as smart as we are, trained as we are and to not know how to make it clear and gettable for anybody who wants know what we know. Theology is holy work, it’s a sacred vocation. It is our job to make it available to the masses of the congregation. To anybody who wants to be able to read what I know, I should be able to write so they can get it.
An excerpt from Audre Lorde’s “The Uses of the Erotic.”
The erotic has often been misnamed by men and used against women. It has been made into the confused, the trivial, the psychotic, and plasticized sensation. For this reason, we have turned away from the exploration and consideration of the erotic as a source of power and information, confusing it with the pornographic. But pornography is a direct denial of the power of the erotic, for it represents the suppression of true feeling. Pornography emphasizes sensation without feeling. Continue reading
By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann. Published in Geez Magazine‘s most recent issue on Gender Flex.
“Mommy, baby is tired. I need to put baby in the pack and walk,” says Cedar, my two-year-old. I quickly design a make shift baby carrier tying his baby doll to his stomach. He walks back and forth across the house and then stops and sways. After five minutes, he heavy sighs and says disappointedly “baby is still awake.” He walks on mumbling to himself about how baby needs his milk and how the baby is too little to drink water out of a cup and baby just needs his milk. Continue reading
By Alice Walker, from a talk she gave at Auburn Theological Seminary (NYC, April 1995) in Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer’s Activism (1997):
It is fatal to love a God who does not love you. A God specifically created to comfort, lead, advise, strengthen and enlarge the tribal borders of someone else. We have been beggars at the table of a religion that sanctioned our destruction. Our own religions denied, forgotten; our own ancestral connection to All Creation something of which we are ashamed. I maintain that we are empty, lonely, without our pagan-heathen ancestors; that we must lively them up within ourselves, and begin to see them as whole and necessary and correct: their Earth-centered, female-reverencing religions, like their architecture, agriculture, and music, suited perfectly to the lives they led. And lead, those who are left, today. Continue reading
By Tommy Airey
In our hyper-connected world, a buffet of spiritual practices abound. One immediately thinks of meditation, contemplative ecology, yoga, fasting, sabbath, jubilee, self-reflective bible study, liturgical direct action, poetry, therapy, 12-step recovery, mutual edification and confession. Now is a better time than ever for the somewhat privileged people of faith and conscience among us to fast-pass the practice of attentive listening to the front of the line. After all, Spirit moves when the marginalized and muted are given voice—those who are Women, who are Black and Brown, who are Queer, who hail from Somewhere Else. Continue reading