Guest Bloomer: Martina E. Martin

We've Come This Far        "We've Come This Far" an 8x10 mixed media collage
                        Martina E. Martin.

And we don’t stop! Another “being seen in twenty-sixteen” post.  Reminder: I’ve invited my sista-friends to answer the following question: How do you make yourself visible as a Womon/Black?  Introducing guest bloomer: Martina E. Martin, another comrade in art therapy.


“Moved”

By: Martina E. Martin

I shall not, I shall not be moved; I shall not, I shall not be moved…

To tuck away what vestiges of my ancestral heritage remain as a descendant of the Mende, Temne, Ewondo, Tikar and Lyela Nations. Like the students and mothers of Durham, I will wrap my hair and limbs in bold, vibrant and haughty hues and intentionally adorn my ears, neck, and wrists with beaded, metallic, wooden and cloth ornamentation in order to recollect my

Pan-African past, while Sankofa-ing my way into a more authentic future.

I shall not, I shall not be moved; I shall not, I shall not be moved…

To conform to society’s standards of beauty and desirability when my hips, lips, curl

pattern and melanin allotment are audaciously non-compliant. Like, the Shulamite woman in Song of Solomon, #ISlay when I fully embody the Imago Dei. I declare “I am black and beautiful,” crafted in the very image of the Divine. Thus, I can concur with Brother Marcus when he states that God made no mistake in making us black with kinky hair.

I shall not, I shall not be moved; I shall not, I shall not be moved…

To warm half-empty pews alongside name-it-and-claim-it, fan-waving,

God worshippers when my calling suggests–no demands, that I DO justice, LOVE kindness and WALK humbly with my God. Like, Roberto Goizueta, I will actively pursue a theology of accompaniment that compels me to travel alongside my siblings in the struggle, transforming my faith from a noun to a verb, and transforming me from a mere consumer of faith, to an active participant in God’s grace.

I shall not, I shall not be moved; I shall not, I shall not be moved…

Out of the way into some cold, dark and dank corner of the struggle where my voice cannot be heard and my contribution cannot be counted. Like, Bree Newsome, I will ascend onward and upward until I arrive at the place where systematic strongholds can be pulled–no yanked, down from their lofty and unnatural heights of power and dominance.

I shall not, I shall not be moved; I shall not, I shall not be moved…

To take my place among the unseen, unheard, immobile and complacent sheep of the fold, who’d rather be comfortable, than confrontational and who are content with things as they are.

Instead, I am moved…

I am moved to be unapologetic in the celebration of my identity as an African-American woman.

I am moved to celebrate the sun-kissed beauty of my people, in all our tonal variations.

I am moved to put my faith into practice by walking the talk.

But more importantly, I am moved to be everything God designed me to be when God breathed the breath of life into this brown-girl flesh and called me to be both salt and light in this bland and dark world. In short, I am moved to be present, visible, awake and vocal in a place that does not always show its love for people who look like me.

(c) 2016 Martina E. Martin All Rights Reserved

#ShebloomsBlack

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