Introducing well damn…my ramblings that are loosely edited streams of consciousness about pop culture and all things soulfully blooming. #welldamn
When I first read about Dr. Linda Chavers taking issue with #BlackGirlMagic, I was empathetic.
Since she missed the mark on the intent, spirit and magic of #BlackGirlMagic, I also wondered about her thoughts on #carefreeblackgirls.
I can get with ones dislike of it, we’re all entitled to our opinions, but her argument not only had holes, but the intuit in me felt Linda’s wounds and her bent’ness (she aint broken, or maybe that’s too magical of me not to refer to Black womyn as broken. Ha!).
I read her struggles with MS and her own hopelessness, okay, maybe not hopeless, but there was a sense of helplessness, bitterness and cynicism. Maybe, she’s felt invisible, like her struggles have been overlooked. Point is, it didn’t read as a mere critical analysis, the tone was very personal.
On the first read, I FELT the article. It FELT heavy and it was very telling about her, not the hashtag. That first read made me want to share some of my magic, overcoming, resilience, in progressness, juju, sparkles…with Chavers. I wanted her to feel magical, cos yeah, she wrote that long article trying to contextualize her pain by using faulty old tropes.
Moreover, I assume the stress of the backlash, has not been good for her health, MS. Stress can cause multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms to worsen. I sincerely hope that she has been able to find refuge in her community/family and practice self-care. Ya know, in the for harriet interview I felt that she dismissed choosing joy.
Joy, comes from within—not externally, and celebrating surviving does not mean that Black gyrls and womyn are cooning or that we’re ignoring systems of oppression. The fact that we are still here, is magic, not superhumon. There is a difference.
“We were never meant to survive.” Audre Lorde
Oh and, she mentioned her “Black girl students” in the interview with, for harriet. I wonder if she thought about them when she wrote the piece and pitched it to Elle. Also, I’m a lil confused on her argument about violence against Black gyrls/womyn not being addressed—where tha fugg you been? I ask.
#BlackLivesMatter has not only addressed boys/men. #sayhername is alllll about Black gyrls/womyn. How about movement work around #RekiaBoyd #MarissaAlexander #SandraBland, all Black womyn. How about #BlackGirlsMatter and the work of Kimberlé Crenshaw that explores Black gyrls being pushed out, policed and underprotected in K-12? How about the ongoing work by reproductive justice practitioners, whose focus is always on womyn of color? And the list goes on…
Anyhoo, now that she’s on my radar, I look forward to the next thing she writes, cos if you’re a writer, that’s what you do, WRITE!
Chavers article in Elle.
A dissenting response to the Elle article.
Chaver’s interview with for harriet after the backlash.
Interesting thing though, I found a connection with Chaver, very slight, but a connection nonetheless. Just like she wrote about her issues with #BlackGirlMagic, I too had an issue with something: the talented tenth, exceptional Black talk around Bill Cosby’s lawyer, Monique Pressley. Focusing on her wit and genius, which I’m sure she’s being paid darn well for, takes the focus off of Cosby.
And no, I’m not saying that we can’t walk and talk at the same time, but Pressley being chosen as his counsel was intentional. Her sass and quick tongue are intentional. I’m NOT saying her correcting and challenging white privilege isn’t commendable, because it is, but Cosby used his male & bank account privileges for decades.
Yes, we can hold multiple spaces and we can address multiple struggles, but with some things that are uncomfortable, sexual violence being one of them, we sometimes welcome the side bar. The reasons why we even know her, in this moment, is because of the harm he’s done. He sexually assaulted womyn, not cool on any level; so, though sis may be bad arse, I ain’t confused as to why she’s in the spotlight.
About rape. sexual violence. sexual violation. sexual assault. Beyond the judicial system, there is no moral or healing statute of limitation on when, or to whom, one discloses. So, it matters not, if it’s been two second or twenty years, a survivor has a right to share their story when they’re ready to. If only society took the sincere responsibility of bearing witness, as opposed to victim blaming and shaming. (c) vpb
Question: When the fugg did it become not okay to be regular? Regular, does NOT mean that we aren’t magic or magical, cos we are, all kinds of magical! Regular, does NOT mean that we aren’t unique or extraordinary, cos we are! Regular, does NOT mean that we’re mediocre. Cos even on my worse day ain’t ish mediocre bout me. But dangit, it is super okay, not super humon, to be a regular Black gyrl.
A Black womon who’s okay with being in her own skin and wanna do regular ish like, be free and joy-filled…
do ish like, chill-lax on Saturday morn with the tv remote and tattered fuzzy comfy pjs and a bowl of cereal, sugar cereal, with dye that turns the milk colors…
do ish like, have the best convo with yo home girl while sitting on the toilet…
like, not sleeping with a bonnet and hair be all ova ya head in the morning…
like, going to Barnes & Nobles, taking your own hot beverage and reading all of your favorite magazines for the month…
you know, regular ish like, go to Harold Washington Library (in Chicago) and people watch on the top floor, that a lot of Black folks don’t know exist, but when we discover that joint, we tell our friends and we meet there for lunch…
photo by JandLcatering