Cruz recast’s Gloria Gaynor’s famous “you’re not welcome anymore,” heartbreak anthem as a song about resilience and joy in the face of trials. The struggle for freedom, the tears for the friends we leave behind, the perseverance and the love for our people that carries us forward. The ancient song, hands on drums and feet dancing, the blood of our villages that we carry across all borders and barriers, into spaces that do not always love us but where we must love in order to survive.
So this post is dedicated to my first-born and one of my pride and joys, Kaori Nijere Moye. Kaori will be celebrating her 18th birthday in less than a month and we definitely have a lot to celebrate. I’m going to save the schools that she got accepted into until the end but as a proud Black woman, I cannot continue to praise other Black women and leave my successful daughter out of the festivities. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night- I mean, I would… but not well.
So, I swallowed those tears before returning to the sun shine. But what I could never swallow was my new nickname that followed me for the rest of my time living on that block, every time we walked to the train and every time I got on the cheese bus I heard the kids singing, African or Haitian Booty Scratcher.
Which had me fucked up.
Because, again, I was Antiguan.
I say, “if you plot to revolt against your master, you gotta know dying is a possibility.”
The student says, “I don’t know. I might just wait. I mean that’s why there weren’t too many slave revolts in the first place.”
I wonder how many of us think about who our “family doctor” was. I don’t mean the one you have to give your insurance card to, I mean that family member who knew all the remedies.
One day, we we’re walking down the hallway when she picked up her phone and began speaking Spanish.
I said, “Oh shoot, I ain’t know you were Dominican.
It is an honor a joy and a calling to be the teacher…and is synonymous with love.