Follow posts tagged #black women writers in seconds.Sign up
“I think in many ways the problem that my writing would have with an American reviewer is that Americans find difficulty very hard to take. They are inevitably looking for a happy ending. Perversely, I will not give the happy ending. I think life is difficult and that's that. I am not at all--absolutely not at all--interested in the pursuit of happiness. I am not interested in the pursuit of positivity. I am interested in pursuing truth, and the truth often seems to be not happiness but its opposite.”—Jamaica Kincaid
Interview with Tashi, Black Wombyn Farmer.
Why do you enjoy working on the farm and with the nation-wide CSA community? Is it particulary meaningful to you as a Black wombyn?
My identity as a black wombyn has informed by decision to farm and become a part of the CSA community. The concept Sankofa has also had a huge impact on those decisions. Meaning either the word in the Akan language of Ghana that translates in English to “go back and take” (Sanko- go back, fa- take) or the Asante Adinkra symbol. It is often associated with the proverb, “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,” which translates “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” As a black wombyn farming how can I not implement the sankofa concept in my life; I am choosing it as a life philosophy… I am learning from our ancestors and from some of the mistakes that have been made… I learn not to control the earth but work with the earth, using natural methods that some of our ancestors used to work with the patterns of the earth and combining them with new technologies that are in line with an ethos of interconnectedness that respects the earth.. i believe everyone has the basic human right to healthy and nutritious food and we all need to be a part of cultivating the food we consume. I recognize that the current reality of our world’s food systems are steeped in white-supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal ideologies and structures that affect everyone but disproportionately hurt marginalized communities (i.e. women, people of color). Through CCF I seek to create and (re)imagine a transformative food justice system that serves as an example of an alternative pro-human ideology, addresses the effects of oppression, thereby dismantling structures of oppression through our own positive creativity. I enjoy working on the farm, not only because i get to work with nature but also because I feel empowered relying on myself and my fellow farm-partners to supply my diet rather than multi-national-corporate-for-profit-businesses and I believe I am in solidarity with the women who produce 70% of the food on earth but are marginalized and oppressed by neoliberalism and patriarchy.
Would you describe the work you are doing as spiritual/metaphysical? Why?
I would definitely describe the work I am doing as spiritual. I am seeking a spiritual, ancestral and African derived consciousness for my own creativity. Making peace with the earth, an integral component to ancestrally driven spiritualized consciousness, involving a deliberate and critically aware relationship with ancestral spirits that reside all around us. Respecting nature is a practice that is closely associated with the practices that sustained our ancestors. Seeing nature as an essential force for human existence, and creating positive relationships within natural landscapes is an embodiment of ancestral consciousness. (“Making peace with the earth, we make the world a place where we can be one with nature. We create and sustain environments where we can come back to ourselves, where we can return home. Stand on solid ground and be a true witness.” –bell hook ( The Colors of Nature, “Earthbound: On Solid Ground”, 2002)). There is a spiritual practice that is involved at a daily and constant level when truly living aligned with the seasons of the earth.
-Do you understand the Black community as having a distinct/special connection the physical landscape (in amerikka)? Yes, I do believe within the historical context of Africans forcibly placed in america, the Black community does have a very distinct connection with the physical landscape of this country. Aside from the indigenous people, the Black community have truly been the stewards of this land.
….Considering the tenuous relationship we, as Black people, have had with the amerikkkan land (for example: being commodified as land is in the same capitalist system, being stolen from our land, being forced to work land stolen from Brown folk, being denied access to land ownership, fearing our footprints in the soil as we escaped enslavement ), how would you characterize our relationship to land? How is it radical as in oppositional/creative/cool?
I would characterize our relationship to land as strained. In the aftermath of chattel-slavery, industrialization and in a time where the capitalist system is upheld, I am under the impression that many people of color, and especially many black folks in america want to stray as far away as possible from manual labor in fields…..(i gotta run but, i’m going to finish answering this question today. i apologize if any of these answers are unclear, i’ve been sick and running around for the farm. love you so much!)
I appreciate you Tashi for sharing your Black wombyn ecological ancient WISDOM.
“Be Blk! For/after Avery R. Young Be crucifixion Blk! Be everything remind me of my daddy Blk! Fried, dyed, and laid to the side, Blk! Everybody’s goddaughter Blk! Been an Auntie since I was 6, Blk! Don’t like my name in your mouth, blk! Only my Mama say my name right, Blk! Teeth can’t get no whiter Blk! Can’t believe my bones is white, Blk! Dark as the elbow skin Blk! Elbow grease for blood Blk! Want proof I’m Blk, Blk! The only thing blacker than black is gold, Blk! Diamonds and pearls Blk! All I can do is offer you my love, Blk! Journey away from home is a journey to home Blk! Everything is a journey, Blk! Running is your middle name Blk! Returning is your middle name Blk! Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care, Blk! You just don’t care, Blk! My watch say apocalypse, blk! Tight Jeans, blk! Baggy Jeans blk! No Jeans Blk! Medallions, blk! Hat so cocked it defy gravity, blk! Wide-tooth comb, and it still hurt, blk! Everything I say rhetorical, blk! Blk as a proverb, as a bullet. Blk as nighttime’s daddy. Blk cuz my heart, cuz my burn, cuz my home is my body, every where else is where I stay. 2 blk to fight in Vietnam. 2 blk to off-beat. 2 blk to crooked. Blk cuz I leave cuz I remember. Blk cuz breadcrumbs be burnt. Blk cuz nobody want me, but everybody wanna tell a joke in my language. Blk cuz they wanna make my mirror look like them but when I close my eyes, I see Myself.”—
More awesome can be found in her collection, Black Girl Mansion.
Book Review: Salvage the Bones
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Looking at the title of this book and its cover, it’s quite easy to ask “What the hell is this about?”
Esch Batiste lives off the Gulf Coast in Bois Savage, Mississippi, the only girl in a family full of men, which include an alcoholic father and three brothers. They are poor, living in the back woods. She is pregnant at 14 years old. And Hurricane Katrina is 10 days away.
Each chapter is a day in the life of Esch leading up to the hurricane. She is a tomboy with no feminine guidance, fascinated with Greek mythology, eager to please almost every boy who shows her any little bit of attention. There are also her brothers: Randall, the rising basketball star; Skeetah, who loves his dog China more than anything in the world; and Junior, the youngest, who gets on everyone’s nerves but is also their child, raised by them since their mother has passed.
This story may seem like it is about survival during one of the most damaging storms in US history, but it is really about a storm of a family that is grappling to grow up and get by amid poverty, violence, and the gaping hole left open by their dead mother and a father distant, angry, and most of the time, drunk.
Though Ward won the National Book Award for this, her second novel, I still was not prepared for how much I’d fall in love with this beautifully written, sad, survival story. I loved every single bit of it. It is my favorite novel of this year by far, and Ms. Ward has been added to my “Writers I Want To Be Like When I Grow Up” list. Junot Diaz was recently quoted claiming Ward “a beast” when it comes to this writing thing. He was not lying.
I would recommend this story to everyone, especially those who enjoy literary fiction and Southern literarture.
You Were Not Here Once
You Were Not Here Once
Register the chaos.
Document The List of Mysteries:
1. Your body flying through the air
2. I will not stop talking about this
will not stop talking about this not stop this…this…this… 3.
Say: your arms your legs / (“my arms, my legs”)
To say, “things stay the same / things change”,
Is to say,
“to remember” —is the same as— “They will betray you.”
You were not here once:
and before that you were notion
and before that, you were spark of lust
and before that, you were memory: (confluence: past lives
felt in the crossing of strange
r’s eyes) … –
you left : your body / (do you remember? “… my arms my legs”?)
& To abandon
The space of self, is to say,
“Do you see how easily you will betray you?
LaVonne Natasha Caesar | Metamorphos is Language
So my school has full access to the eBook “Writing The Black Revolutionary Diva: Women’s Subjectivity and Decolonizing Text”, which contains all kinds of essays about the decolonization of the writing of Black women—and there is an essay titled “Constructing diva citizenship: The Enigmatic Angela Davis as Case Study” and I literally just yelled aloud and freaked out at Abby because that is so fucking cool and I am the biggest nerd.