While yes, technically, legal segregation is over, New York City remains one of the most segregated school systems in America. In fact, we are more segregated today than schools were during the start of the integration movement. We also have a rampantly racist President in office who recently referred to Haiti, El Salvador and all the countries in Africa as “shithole”, but we can sit wherever we want on a bus so, you know, everything is alright and Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream has come to fruition.
But don’t worry, you won’t have to be patient for too long especially because we will both be on break for the next not quite 2 weeks.
Just like you, we are closing up shop and taking time to be with family and friends over this holiday season. That means:
No daily blogs…But in this last one of 2018 we got a treat!
No Podcasts…did you peep we dropped one today?
No updates on social media….well our social media manager says she’s still gonna be dropping stuff. Thank Goodness for her.
We will be back on January 2nd, refreshed, renewed and ready to take on all that comes our way.
But, we are leaving you with an early Kwanzaa present.
The teacher begins to show me some student work and excitedly shows me one of her students assignment where the student talks about toxic femininity.
My mind is racing with all kinds of thoughts.
In my head: Oh shit some little black girl woke asf in here and recognizes that white women feminism is the epitome of toxic femininity because they practice a feminism that hates men (even though white men are oppressive asf) and isn’t intersectional and lots of times uses white supremacy to oppress women of color and poor women. I want to meet this girl and sit in on this class and revel in the awakening of the youth.
Lots of times when I bring up Kwanzaa to my family and friends, they react in one of a few ways:
The sigh: You know the sigh, it’s the: “not this shit again,” sigh. The: “here you go on that Black shit again.” sigh. Or the: “why you trying to take away Christmas from me?” sigh
The awkward silence: You know the blank stare and “why you have to bring this up again” silence. Or the maybe if I just don’t respond you will stop talking silence.
This shit is made up defense: This is my favorite, people will argue to me that this holiday is made up and therefore we don’t need to celebrate it. Ummmmm, aren’t all holidays made the f up. So, because this was made up in our lifetime means that it isn’t valid?
And so the Irish and Indigenous American connection made for me on this pilgrimage refocused my work and my values. I saw the impact of White-centered colonialism in a wide-lens. And I saw the power of service and allyship in the face of what feels like unending oppression.
So, in the last 2 years I’ve met and known 3 real Native people. They’ve all looked totally different, had totally different experiences but I met all of them in the course of doing this liberation work.
I think, it might just be getting through my big head that Native people are not the caricatures placed in my mind by years of schooling and living in a White supremacist world.
November is Native American Heritage Month and though I pride myself on being knowledgeable about the histories of people of the African Diaspora, I had to be real with myself, there is still so much I don’t know about the histories of my Native American brothers and sisters. Thinking of the importance of this solidarity led me to explore the topic of Black/Native American resistance.