Today in Solidarity: Incredible Women (and Girls) of Ferguson
I know that Black creativity has saved your life many times before. I know, because I’ve seen it happen. I’ve listened as non-Black people in my communities raised on Hip Hop talked about how it was the only relatable, empowering culture they found that also educated and radicalized them as a youth. It was formational. I’ve watched people become politicized, shaping their new political identities after bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Assata Shakur, Angela Davis and Frantz Fanon. I’ve watched as folks become activist celebrities using radical ideas from Black Power and Civil Rights movements to shape programs that do not benefit Black people. I’ve watched as people make livings and loads of social capital off of DJing Black music, dancing, walking and dressing like Black people, selling the Black aesthetic to others. I’ve heard that friends use Nina Simone and Sade to sing them back from depression, Rihanna and D’Angelo to get them in the mood. So many people in my communities, lately, have been using Octavia Butler to renew their hope for radical futures. Without Black people, what would your lives be? You might be thinking, you know, it’s so much more complicated than all this, race is complex, we’re all part of the human family, etc., etc…
Black art is not free for all damaged souls. When Nina sang about strange fruit, she was talking about a lynching…of Black people. When Black rappers say Fuck the Police, they speak to a state system of lynching…Black people. Your pain and isolation, however real it may be, is not the same as being Black. Your self-adoption into hip hop and djembe drumming and spoken word, makes our art forms all about you. You, however well meaning, have stolen Black labour and invention and used it for your own purpose. It warps the medium and changes the message, the magic, the healing. From now on, consider how the cost of consuming, appropriating, regurgitating, and getting your life in multiple ways from Black art, Black culture, and Black peoples’ creative genius detrimentally impacts our lives. Being Black in an anti-black world means experiencing daily attacks that threaten our dignity, our happiness, our freedom, and often our lives; and in order to enjoy Black culture, you’re going to have to take action to help get these back.
But because Black people’s labour, language, intelligence, creativity, and survival arts have always been considered free for the taking, you probably didn’t feel ways about using it. You probably didn’t think twice. Black culture is the most pilfered, the most ‘borrowed,’ the most thieved culture, and we’ve seen this happen time and tie again.
Quote is from her essay Black Art Is Not A Free For All on Black Girl Dangerous. Read it all. Truly exquisite writing, especially as non-Black people continue to use, consume, pilfer, plagiarize and be appropriative of Black cultural production and art while simultaneously suggesting that Black culture, especially that Black American culture, does not exist.
I’ve also watched non-Black people suggest Black people contribute “nothing” to anti-oppression theory or praxis while their ENTIRE FRAMEWORK for approaching it is via Black cultural production or Black women’s epistemology.
Like…the cognitive dissonance proffered via perspectives shaped by anti-Blackness is astounding.(via gradientlair)
The reality of a poem is a very ghostly one. It suggests, it suggests, it suggests again.Mark Strand (via theparisreview)
"Can’t believe this is happening in America!"
What’s so hard to believe about a fundamentally white supremacist empire built on the largest scale settler colonial genocide and most profound case of human trafficking in history being morally inept enough to initiate an internal occupation?
Only a useless and historically bankrupt liberal who deliberately ignores structural injustices would spout such asinine bullshit and have come to think that the siege on Ferguson is incomprehensible.
In the history of the human race, there has literally never been a single sex industry wherein the majority, let alone the entirety, have chosen their position freely. Saying, “I support the idea of ‘sex work’, but only when all of the women involved are safe and consenting” is about as close to meaningless as you can get. We can sit around and imagine all day about some hypothetical future system of selling sex that is completely dissimilar both in form and function to every other system of selling sex that currently exists or has ever existed, but the fact is that prostitution and pornography, *as they exist in real life*, are inherently violent institutions. We don’t have time to deal in thought experiments, abstract theories, and Platonic forms so long as real women are being raped and tortured and killed by real men every day in the here and now.Jonah Mix (via hereticswords)
"I PUNCHED A HOLE THROUGH YOUR DOOR BECAUSE I’M AN ARTIST" (2014)
It’s a strange business, speaking for yourself, in your own name, because it doesn’t at all come with seeing yourself as an ego or a person or a subject. Individuals find a real name for themselves, rather, only through the harshest exercise in depersonalization, by opening themselves up to the multiplicities everywhere within them, to the intensities running through them.Gilles Deleuze, Negotiations 1972-1990 p. 6 (via busylittledyings)
She is a problem because she is a seducer, and I — I mean we — love to be seduced, though we also resent it, and she is a problem because she is a suicide, and suicides are seductive because we all want to die sometimes, and dead young women artists and dead women artists of any age are a problem because it has always been easier for this culture to love their artworks when they, the women, are not alive to interfere with our relations with them…excerpt from An Hourglass Figure: On Photographer Francesca Woodman by Ariana Reines (via adult-mag)
The “romantic-sexual/platonic” love dichotomy leaves no room for the real emotional nuances people experience in their attachments, and I think that it often causes us to live with simplified relationships not because we want to or because we have simple desires and feelings but because we have no experience, cultural context, or language to accommodate a complex social life or set of relationships. This is why language is so important. This is why words and labels matter. How can you have the kind of relationships you want with anyone, if you don’t even have the words to accurately express how you feel? Hell, half the time, people don’t even understand their own feelings and relationship desires because what they feel is not simple at all, but the only relationship framework they know makes everything seem simple and clear cut: romance and sex go together, friendship is separate from both of those things, couplehood/primary partnership is exclusive to romance and sex, etc.
But if we are to accept the possibilities and realities of asexual romance, primary nonsexual/nonromantic love, nonromantic sex and sexual friendship, romantic (nonsexual) friendship, queerplatonic nonsexual relationships and sexual relationships, etc…. we have to drop this way of thinking and speaking about relationships and love in a romantic-sexual/platonic dichotomous way. None of those “complex” relationships fit into that model
this, all day.
Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. Maybe because it is newer. The investigation of ugliness is to me, more interesting, than the bourgeois idea of beauty. And why? Because ugly is human. It touches the bad and the dirty side of people.Miuccia Prada, T Magazine “Culture” 2013 (via dinnerwithannawintour)
They’re the salt of the earth, those girls. They don’t sit each night and compare notes on groups, criticising lyrics, asking if it’s valid. They just play the record… yeah, and maybe they dance. I love them. I love them dearly.David Bowie (on fangirls)
i observe men in silence, how they leave plates on dining room tables, how they slam doors, how they take up whole couch with legs sprawled and lounging arms, how they do not filter speech, too confident, too loud. voices always violent, everything a war.