DIAMOND. Yes I am.

Hello again! As previously mentioned, I will have a new post up at the end of this week.

Today I just wanted to share this poem. It’s by ALPHAMAMA, and it is Divine ❤

 

WATCH HER VIDEO HERE ON FACEBOOK.

 

These are the words:

Love is a decision, and some decisions are wrong

But when are you gonna learn girl, that you can’t make them meet you there

When you’re giving 100% but they don’t know the value of your wholeness

Guess what – he doesn’t need you, he needs himself

If you are a strong integrated magical being who can stand up and look anyone in the eye with power and pride

And he can’t rise above the sum of his experiences

Then how would he begin to know what you could add to his life?

It’s not his fault; you just don’t know what you don’t know

I know you see the best in him, but you can’t deny the rest of him

And you can’t continue testing him and measuring his answers when they don’t add up

It’s not that he’s just not that into you, it’s that his not into himself yet

He’s scared of his own power and greatness and wants to stay small, and that’s okay

But not for you.

You’re offering a starving man a diamond

But he can’t find the opportunity there because, you can’t eat a diamond

And girl let me tell you this – you. are. a diamond

Endured the condensed weight of your process and experience

That transformed your darkness into brilliant resilience

In a trillion, you are ONE

But some people still want to feel numb and you are Life itself

So go give your life to the sky

Go shoot your beams to the moon and grab your kisses from the stars

Go love the trees and let their leaves stroke your face

Go tell yourself that you’re free and then dance naked to the beat of your own racing heart

Your rhythm is too perfect to slow down for anyone

Your dance is too expert to partner with a beginner

Your life is too precious to waste, waiting for someone to step up and meet you where you are

No Queen, you do not need a King, you do not need a thing

You have all that you are, and that, is enough.

 


‘Intersections’

BELOW is the second piece I wrote then “performed” at ‘Fifty Shades of Blak: Performance Night’, inside Blak Dot Gallery last night. It was an intimate, energising evening of performances from a beautiful, powerful and diverse group of women of colour, and I am really lucky to have been invited to be amongst them. You can read about the Fifty Shades of Blak Exhibition, and the first piece I wrote then performed last night, right HERE.

A brief intro for context: There is an American scholar named Kimberlé Crenshaw who coined the term ‘intersectionality’ to describe the study of how different forms of systemic oppression can intersect and overlap. This is concept that I think about frequently in terms of the world at large, but also in terms of my own lived experience – because I’m not just Black, I’m a Black WOMAN, and a Black DISABLED Woman, so I have and do experience both racism, the specific kinds of misogyny and sexism that Black Women face, and Ableism. This piece is about what it feels like to move through the world in a body that, even though I love it, and the people who love me love it, comes up against multiple kinds of marginalisation on a fairly regular basis.

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INTERSECTIONS

(© 2016 Pauline Vetuna, All Rights Reserved.)

Living in a body that is marginalized for three different reasons feels like this: like constantly watching the traffic lights rapidly change from joyful green to halting red, and feeling the joy wane inside you every time.

GREEN light:

Black friend sends out an invite. “We’re having a party, at this place, all welcome!”

AMBER light:

Black friend says, “oh, I  forgot to ask if there’s access… I think there’s only one step…”

RED light:

Black friend says, “sorry it’s not accessible! The venue is already booked and paid for. But we’ll make sure you can be included in the next event.”

The next event is not accessible either.

This scenario repeats itself five hundred times.

I convince myself I have better things to do than be included in society.

I drive on.

NEXT GREEN light:

White feminist friend sends out an invite. “We’re having a discussion, at this place, all welcome!”

AMBER light:

White feminist friend says, “no, none of the panelists are women of colour, but we’re talking about universal topics like breaking the glass ceiling, leaning in, and women on boards.”

RED light:

White feminist friend says, “yeah I hear what you’re saying but we want to stick to topics that affect all women; you can stage another forum that discusses issues affecting Black women and Disabled women another time.”

All women means white and able bodied women, too often. It does not mean me. It probably doesn’t mean queer or gender non conforming people either.

This scenario repeats itself five hundred times.

I stay home and read Angela Davis books.

NEXT GREEN light:

Black male friend says, “I’m pro Black… I love my Black mother and my Black sister and Black women in general.”

AMBER light:

Black male friend says, “I just think you can be pro-Black and still have a preference for lighter skinned women”.

RED light:

Black male friend says, “I’m just saying that darker women can be a little masculine sometimes, and that isn’t attractive.”

Beware of the white supremacist who lives within Black skin.

This scenario repeats itself five hundred times.

I have to remind myself each time, “yes but not ALL Black men…”

NEXT GREEN light:

White male colleague says, “just so you know I am a huge champion of women of colour.”

AMBER light:

White male colleague says, “I’m just saying that being against someone’s culture and someone’s skin colour are two different things.”

RED light:

White male colleague says, “I think our military should airlift every woman out of that third world hellhole so that those men can’t reproduce.”

This sentiment is echoed by western supremacists five thousand times across the media landscape.

I remind myself of who I am, of my cultural roots, of the beautiful Black men who loved me into existence, and draw strength from them. I send love to all the innocent Black and Brown men in the world who are deemed guilty before the trial they will never have.

Then, I drive on.

NEXT GREEN light:

Former white male boyfriend says, “racism is stupid. You and I are basically the same person. And you’re the best friend I’ve ever had.”

AMBER light:

Former white male boyfriend says, tears in his eyes, after the illness that would lead to me becoming disabled, “I love you so much, but… I don’t think I can handle this, handle your condition.”

RED light:

Every institutional structure says: “Whites rule. Lights rule. Males rule. Able Bodies ONLY.”

I build up an armour, train myself to spot and avoid the supremacists around me and work hard every day not to internalize any of it, whilst staving off the aloneness that marginalization often forces upon you.

This scenario repeats itself five hundred times.

I drive on anyway.


I AM the witch that wouldn’t burn :-)

Appreciating resilient Black womanhood, with 3 poems.

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First. In the clip below, poets Crystal Valentine & Aaliyah Jihad name and shame the misogynist/racist toxins I bled out of my system long ago to be free, whole, and at ease in this temple I live in. 

After the bloodletting, my inner voice spoke thusly:

“Unconditionally love your body, Black Woman – your proud existence is defiance. And be grateful for the men that won’t come your way.”

Echoes of those words are in this poem.

Second. A celebration of the creative, destructive, regenerative, fiercely protective POWER of the Goddess and all the female bodies she animates… disguised as a defiant clap back to period shaming. Mother/poet Dominique Christina is astonishing and her swearing is divine:

Third. This poem of body acceptance as a skinny Black Woman, by Alyesha Wise, illustrates how avoiding body criticism as an everyday Black Woman is damned near impossible … any self love defiantly flourishes in the depths of some serious shit: “I am not here for the non-believers; I am not here for those who cringe when they see me seeing all of my self. This bodily prayer is strictly between my sight and the sun; and all the good folk who enter the presence of this church with no other words on their tongue but ‘AMEN’.”

AMEN.