The student-designed logo contest winner was designed by Fabiha Ahmed, a high school student at Bard High School in Queens. She writes: “This attributes to my school Bard High School Early College Queens and Dr. Kadison and Ms. Mary Jo Lombardo for supporting me and encouraging me to compete in this contest. I would also like to attribute it to all of the students who have shown support for this movements and the art.”
We place these shirts on TeeSpring at the cheapest price that the site allows. We HIGHLY ENCOURAGE that if you are ordering more than 5-10 shirts, email us and get the direct logo from us. Take it to a locally-owned, preferably Black-led t-shirt print shop for a much better rate and much faster delivery! We place these here for convenience, not as an endorsement. Email us at blacklivesmatteratschool2 “at” gmail.com.
This week has been filled with so many gifts, daily benefits of
That were seeking not to save but to liberate…me…perhaps. When things hurt, and we are wounded, it is our questions (I think) that promote healing when answers we cannot find. Mind-freeing questions, the beginning of a conversation can be the source of liberation. I have always thought of questions (especially a barrage of them) as tools of manipulation, prying from me hidden secrets that I was not ready to release…today, I realize their power to help bridge gaps and promote healing. So I recount this past week’s treasures as I yield to their musing.
Sunday’s question with Rev. Sylvia: where does life begin my friend, girl, sister, daughter, woman?
Me: At breath queen mother, preacher, teacher, sister, daughter woman.
Monday’s question with Mommy: why would you say that joy?
Me: Because I see your fatigue queen mother, leader, teacher, sister, daughter woman.
Tuesday’s question with Rev. Jeri: how do you feel sissy?
Me: Tired but grateful queen like me, preacher, teacher, sister, daughter, woman.
Wednesday’s question from me to them–my students–on the first day of our year together: what matters most to you…in the context of us?
Them: Silence, curious silence of uncertainty awaiting.
Thursday’s question: can we play? Of course I say. With bubbles and flame, let’s ask more as we explore.
Friday’s questions: what is? why does? how can? The answers don’t matter, today, yet…until the second group of students, a medley of harmony-seeking freshman, gathered at a round table with us–the warriors leading demonstrations, protesting injustice. They asked “what is wrong in this town?” In this place, where the surface sparkles from light cast on glossy ivy among cathedra though cold, we all wondered. I inhaled their curiosities and exhaled a bit of myself, knowing there is no single answer that would satisfy or that could requite. Instead I hoped to inspire and invite them outside the gates of this sanctuary, this space…with me.
Saturday’s questions are many, too many, to ask or answer but one,
From a newly found stranger, who may become more
In a context of conquest and survival cultures
Where stories and lives and ways of being rise like love above the heads of the teachers
She asked: what if…
We convert old monuments (of the kind commissioned to honor un-civil war histories) into new things? I paused to reflect. I accepted the question like breath in dry bones or maybe like the breath in the lungs of a body formed from clay…
I thought about who erected those monuments in the first place…women. The daughters and sisters and wives and mothers of the wounded ones who lost… generations later,
still fueled by this rage
that justifies elections and
martyrs dying men.
Reminded of Inka Road where Indigenous monuments, ancient and sacred, had been set apart for worship gatherings yet ransacked and pilfered by White faces seeking self-interest…the more religious of the pirates knew that in re-appropriating broken stones and ground clay into foundations for their churches, the spirit of the earth would call her sons and daughters home…they knew…they knew.
Reminded as I read Kendi on the ride back, on the last day of this glorious week, that after failure, comes success, that teaches what we need to build the kind of hope that leads to survival in spite of cancer….aggressive, anticipated, metastatic or unexpected.
Which brought me back to my Sunday, my family, my mother, her healing…on that first day of this week where wounds drain their toxins and the DNA of their former pain.
Our history and acceptance of our thoughts about our body, our space, our power…that have been the opposite of antiracist…
Final question as this week shows sign of the next: How do we survive the WOUNDS of our bodies’, spaces’ & powers’ failures to act? We choose to resist further sacrifice of our own flesh and spirit in order to be accepted. We choose to be who we are and are becoming as we celebrate the strength and beauty we behold in our mirrors. We choose to love. We choose to learn. We choose to lead.
Today is July 10, 2019. I’ve just returned from a national conference that empowered nearly 8000 very specific public service professionals to continue their diligence to take on the world.
I represented those who sent me there. I marched to a detention center that was illegally holding child immigrants. But none were freed.
I half-listened while 10 presidential candidates regurgitated what they were told was what the voters needed to hear to make them THE best choice. I came home exhausted and less reflective than I have in the past ten years.
We celebrated the millions of dollars that we raised to endorse an individual that will restore so many human rights that have been stomped-on, held hostage, and erased without the permission of the majority. We chanted, “this is what democracy looks like” as a tear ran down my cheek.
Is one that can only be born(e) by the one who carries
when others SEE you
In January…not yet, I guess winter is too long…
In February, being Black…American
In March, being woman…
In April, hearing, little or none, deaf…
In May, being Asian…Pacific Islander…American
In Summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day…American…just American of the U.S. variety…never mind that which is North or South or Central, beyond the 48 contiguous or territorized, colonized (or terrorized) in the oceans or the seas…
In September…in the middle…to the middle of October
then being Queer in October…in America
In November, being Indigenous in America…native
In December…back around to bear the weight of capital that comes in the form of indebtedness and frolicking that is heavy.
All year to be seen is important. To be represented on a calendar, in a school, in a bookstore or library display is to be celebrated from the inside out and outside in…is critical in the debate to be represented. WE ALL MATTER. WE KNOW THAT. For the marks made on a calendar, during the month that celebrates a heritage, perhaps others will see it too. New flavor of capital in each frame–social, cultural, powerful visions of who we have been before we carried who we are as Americans before we carry who we have been born to be…
Professor of Law Mehrsa Baradaran explains how Richard Nixon [President of the United States from 1969 to 1974] ignored “meaningful economic reforms proposed by black activists” for housing integration, reparations or both, because “[a]greeing to demands for federal spending or reparations in the ghetto was anti-capitalist.” “[W]ith the assistance of Alan Greenspan, the Nixon campaign’s economic adviser (and future Federal Reserve chairman)”, Nixon devised “black capitalism,” tax and credit policies that were repeated under different names and in one form or another in virtually every administration since. Baradaran concludes by saying “These programs fail because the benefits of capitalism always accrue to the owners of the capital, not to the people living in enterprise zones or promise zones. Using capitalism to fix the racial wealth gap will work only if there is a means to transfer capital, assets, wealth or housing.” Read the entire op ed by clicking here.