Thursday, May 15, 2014

On to Africa Part 2: Can Anybody Hear Me?



city roosters crow:


I sit in the strange chill of this morning--up with the thoughts I went to sleep with. Roots. Deep ones--my own and the roots of Contempt for them. The nameless ones of us in America. The assault seems to come daily and from many obvious and sly angles. The world is busy. Personal, political, and creative activity in the lives of many of the Black women I know, demonstrate to me that lots of us are trying to dually name and rebuke this elusive Thing.

I kill time on purpose and by accident; sometimes on the Internet. Twitter is a medium that for all its pluses is also a place to test the barometer on social/political attitudes toward Black women. Oby Ezekwesli, a  resident of Abuja, Nigeria, recently started the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls to draw attention to the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by rebel group Boko Haram. Her hashtag's original intent, as I understood it, was to confront both the silence in the international media and pressure the Nigerian government to act in its citizens' interests.

Fast forward and its sunrise in New Orleans. I am thinking of missing women and girls. There is one in particular, I am looking for right now in New Orleans. Gone into the night of anonymity. Sunrise and city roosters crow with no word, no message from her. Michelle Obama had a message. It said: Bring Back Our Girls. I'd like for that to happen. I'd like to sit respectfully in the dissonance of seeing my face tell my face to Bring Us Back and wonder if I'm being militarized in that process.  I wonder what it would be like To be free to cast my lot, with who I may, for my own safety.  I'd like to be able to say : don't put words in a Black woman's mouth; lest you be ate alive once we open it.  I'm thinking of the 500K, I heard a white lady made to co-opt a hashtag and shared suffering.... and wondering..... how some people can use this to play respectability politics....and how some of the anti imperialists online have found the time to chastise those with skin like mine?

This morning, I'm convinced that ignorance beside familiarity, is also an ingredient in the recipe for Contempt. Driven by a lack of reason, the abbreviated equation from some goes:

US, Israeli, Saudi, & Chinese imperial interest in Africa
Corruption in Nigerian Government
Boko Haram

= Black Americans (Women) have the wrong politics

I shudder in the peculiar cold of this sunrise. This sunrise that does not know or care for Nigeria or its women any more than it knows or cares, where in Africa, I or my line was stolen from. Tell me, who they are. Then tell me to who my loyalty should lie. Chew a root--set a root--and watch for the signs. Which direction this is all headed in...

Whose Child Am I?


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