All posts filed under: Liberate

Book 9: Black Feeling Black Talk (1968)–Nikki Giovanni

I always shy away from reading poetry and remember, after I force myself to sit down and read it, why: it’s harder than reading prose. But it’s often so much more gratifying so then I wonder why I don’t read more poetry. Nikki Giovanni has an inexplicable way of communicating so much with so few words that it makes you have to read it again. And again. She’s got this rhythm in her writing, and her word play is wild; she may change the spelling of one word in a sentence to give a double meaning that’s just so…(a sound would better explain what it feels like than a word, a grunt with pursed lips and an ugly face of both agreement and disgust). I finished this in January, but after the Black Panther phenomenon of February, I think my timing with this post is right on. Black Power (For All the Beautiful Black Panthers East) But the whole thing is a miracle–See? We were just standing there talking–not touching or smoking Pot When the …

Audre Lorde on Race Consciousness

But we never ever talked about what it meant and felt like to be Black and white, and the effects that had on our being friends. Of course, everybody with any sense deplored racial discrimination, theoretically and without discussion. We could conquer it by ignoring it. … How meager the sustenance was I gained from the four years I spent in high school; yet, how important that sustenance was to my survival. Remembering that time is like watching old pictures of myself in a prison camp picking edible scraps out of the garbage heap, and knowing that without that garbage I might have starved to death. The overwhelming racism of so many of the faculty, including the ones upon whom I had my worst schoolgirl crushes. How little I settled for int he way of human contact, compared to what I was conscious of wanting. It was in high school that I came to believe that I was different from my white classmates, not because I was Black, but because I was me. -Audre Lorde, …

Parable of the Sower, Chapter 10

When apparent stability disintegrates, As it must– God is Change– People tend to give in To fear and depression, To need and greed. When no influence is strong enough To unify people They divide. They struggle, One against one, Group against group, For survival, position, power. They remember old hates and generate new ones, They create chaos and nurture it. They kill and kill and kill, Until they are exhausted and destroyed, Until they are conquered by outside forces, Or until one of them becomes A leader Most will follow, Or a tyrant Most fear. –Parable of the Sower, p. 103, Octavia Butler

Don Miguel Ruiz, Agreement Two

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering -Don Miguel Ruiz, from The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) Certainly words to live by…if only they were so easy to embody.