“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
“I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence.”
Audre Lorde and Toni Morrison gave us so much. Their words wind through hearts and minds giving solace and stoking imagination. With exquisite precision and unyielding brilliance, they crafted hearty vocabularies capable of holding and expressing the universalism of their own experiences. What Audre Lorde and Toni Morrison wrote were truths Black women and Black people knew in their bones, but rarely saw in print. They eviscerated the intellectual and moral smallness of the American cultural imagination that relegated Blackness and specifically Black women to the margins.
We have been blessed by their inextinguishable light. Audre Lorde and Toni Morrison’s words are talismans, full of magic and protection. They hold up our wholeness in the face of a system designed to smash every facet of our humanity. To be Black in America is to be too much and never enough. To be Black in the words of Audre Lorde and Toni Morrison is to be complete in the complexity of ourselves, and that has always been enough.
2021 is going to require a collective change of consciousness and new ways of operating in the world. That change is possible and it will be hard. Who will be the helpers and the shepherds to share the vision of who we can be and keep the momentum going for better days for all of us? Some of them are already out in the world doing the work. Some of us may be among them. It’s time to look for the helpers, help them, and join them.
“The pandemic will end not with a declaration, but with a long, protracted exhalation. Even if everything goes according to plan, which is a significant if, the horrors of 2020 will leave lasting legacies. A pummeled health-care system will be reeling, short-staffed, and facing new surges of people with long-haul symptoms or mental-health problems. Social gaps that were widened will be further torn apart. Grief will turn into trauma. And a nation that has begun to return to normal will have to decide whether to remember that normal led to this. “We’re trying to get through this with a vaccine without truly exploring our soul,” said Mike Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota.”
“When Georgia turned blue for Mr. Biden this year after record voter turnout, it validated the political vision and advocacy of a group of Black women who have led a decades-long organizing effort to transform the state’s electorate.”
Felicia Davis, Deborah Scott, Helen Butler, and Nse Ufot are some of the organizers who turned the tide in Georgia. Read about their wisdom, the damage done by viewing the South and southerners as a monolith, and the value of praxis over theory in protecting the democratic process.
“He had this habit of loitering by the stairs of the garden, almost daring you to walk up or down,” said Maria Hunt, who has lived near the garden for more than a decade and was attacked by Gerald two separate times in 2020. “Gerald was like a winged boogie man, a Cerberus of the rose garden who would have been comical if he hadn’t been so menacing.”
“All we could do was run”: the strange story of Gerald, the turkey who terrorized a city