Page 74: Feminist Fridays feat. Women of Color

There was a workplace shooting three hours ago in a town that’s no more than half an hour’s drive from here. I’m not doing well with it. I’m angry. I’m really fucking angry. I’m tired that this is something that we have to deal with on a regular damn basis and I hate that people in my community, tonight, are screaming those hollow screams of someone who lost a person that they loved with their whole heart. And other people sitting on the couch saying, “there’s nothing we can do, let’s not even try.”
I’m not telling you this because it has anything to do with Feminist Friday but I am telling you this so that if you’re feeling an undercurrent of seriousness–that’s why. We are feeling a little bit raw around here, tonight.

Okay, so the truth is that Feminism introduced me to the inequality of everyone else around me. I, ignorantly, thought everything was cool until I realized that it wasn’t. And then I saw that it really, really wasn’t.
It’s not fun to be a white woman who has so many thoughts about race and racism and the reality of it all. It’s a lot easier to convince myself that I have it the worst. It can be hard to know what I’m supposed to say when all I really know is that my heart so often aches in ways that I can’t explain around this topic. There’s so much to say and no words at all for it. So, at the end of the day, all I really want to tell you is to sit down and listen. I’m not saying that white people don’t have a voice in these issues. We do. We have a voice in, literally, everything! But we really shouldn’t say anything if we don’t know anything and we can’t know anything if we don’t sit down and pay attention.

So I want to introduce you to a few of the Women of Color that I am paying attention to and I hope that you’ll share some with the rest of us, as well (please forgive the Google Images, I wasn’t able to book a private photoshoot with all of these brilliant minds on such short notice).

Danai Gurira:
She’s not only my favorite character on The Walking Dead but she’s a brilliant playwright. Right now she has two active plays in New York. One is Eclipsed which is about women who have been captured into the sex trade in Liberia.
The other play is entitled Familiar and it’s a little more autobiographical which is so interesting considering she was born in a small town in Iowa and then moved to Zimbabwe when she was five years old.
“My hypothesis is: people in the West can absorb African women’s stories without any shaken or stirred mixer. It can come directly from the source.”
Latonya Yvette: One of my favorite lifestyle bloggers. Her photos are incredible. Her style is on point and I love her writing voice. It’s beautiful, honest and poetic. One of my favorite posts is entitled, When the Sunsets.
“On this particular sunset, we all made it though the day; good in health, with each other, in-love, isn’t that special? Yes, especially when you actually sit down and think about how often a sunset can be something sad for someone in the world. Someone, in someway, may have went through something particularly extraordinary-possibly, in the worst way. And even though my heart hurts just thinking of those people, I am so very grateful to simply have it not be my family enduring on that particular day. It makes you look at everyday a bit different, no?”

Luvvie Ajayi :
I first encountered Luvvie through a Facebook Live video that she made about the topic discussed in this article. She is strong and unafraid and does not care about making her writing easy for white people to digest and I love it!
I have heard a lot of white people say, “I’m not interested in _____ because it has an ‘us vs. them’ vibe to it and I’m really more about bringing everyone together.” Which sounds nice until you think about it for more than about four seconds. I am not going to get into how I feel about it because I want you to read the article that she wrote. Because when it comes to racism, I’m going to work on doing my part by shutting my white mouth every now and again and just pointing you in a direction whenever I can.
“The idea that somehow upholding and affirming my own Blackness, being proud about it, being loud about it, is some type of anti-white statement will never stop blowing my mind. It’s the “All Lives Matter” Syndrome. When we say BLACK LIVES MATTER, it doesn’t mean other lives don’t. If I say I love being Black it don’t mean I hate White.”

Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton with the Another Round podcast. These women are giving me life. Telling me to shut up when I need to shut up and letting me know about the life that black women are living. Because, I mean, I live in the middle of Kansas. There aren’t tons of black people in my orbit! And I love to learn. I know that podcasts like Another Round and The Read are not specifically for me. And that’s okay. I’m okay with not being the intended audience because I know they’re okay with me listening in and absorbing. Also I feel like we could be close, personal friends and I would like that very much. Hey Heben and Tracy! Please don’t feel pressured to come over for dinner but you’re absolutely invited.

So then, who are you listening to these days?
Did you see the fist-pumping, soul-crushing, hard laughter poem that Cammie and Katelin posted on my blog on Monday?

I love you all. Drink a glass of water and hold someone’s hand, tonight.

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