Welcome guest bloomer: veronica precious bohanan. In this post she questions and disrupts the multipronged attacks on Black gyrls’/womyn’s existence by detailing a month-long series that she’s envisioned to align with fall, the season of harvesting. During the month of October, Black womyn will gather online and the month will culminate with a CAN WE LIVE: Chicago Harvest Day WORKSHOP, Saturday, October 29, 9a-11a @ Links Hall. This workshop is a face-to-face gathering, a guided interactive experience that uses various forms of EXPRESSION to process, heal and build resilience to disrupt the multi-prong attacks upon our Black lives. She begins w/the manifestation of: Can we live !
can we live: an expression of frustration with a current situation.
When I first heard a Black womon say, “can I live?,” it gave me life. I thought it was a tasty new catch phrase, and the way in which she conveyed it supported a core knowing, a manifest destiny of “we gon be aight.” It was a question, but also a statement! A warning of sorts that I, Black womon, am about to take up space and ain’t apologizing for it.
But, however (keep reading, don’t get stuck here. yes, your eyes are not playing a trick on ya. you read, but however)…But however, most recently when I heard “can we live,” a Black womon was saying it under distress. She was passionately talmbout Korryn Gaines, and this time, there was no sign of, “can I live,” being a question. It was a flat out declaration expanded into the collective, we. The declaration was a demand to stop fuqqing with us.
When I heard it, I got that feeling. A reminding that the world is trying to control Black gyrls/womyn while also trying to silence and kill us off. These feelings, based upon the realities of harm being done to Black gyrls/womyn became redundant connectors—conjunctive adverbs—but, however . . . we matter! There is a pause that occurs between but and however. They take up the similar, and sometimes, same space. They’re only noticed when they’re use is wrong. But however, is just as confusing as being hypervisible in the midst of invisibility. What an annoyance of keep having to say, we matter.
shole = sure(ly)
It shole feel like the world keep sticking its finger in our face—real close, but not touching our nose—taunting us with a repetitive “I’m not touching you…I’m not touching you…” But however, we fight back, scream and push: “BUT YOU ARE, touching us.” A touching, with a list that gets longer and longer. Us getting dead : killed by state sanctioned violence and domestic / interpersonal viciousness.
Bresha Meadows. Rekia Boyd. Sandra Bland. Korryn Gaines. Tiarah Poyau.
Janese Talton-Jackson. Cherica Adams. Jessica Hampton . Joyce Quaweay . Skye Mockabee.
Our cousins. Our aunts. Our sisters.
Our grannies. Our mothers.
Our friends. Our kin.
Can we just, be!
Can we live!
(Image by by Molly Crabapple – 2016)
Where in our physical and emotional bodies do we hold the narratives of sistas who’ve been harmed and / or killed. Where do we find ourselves in these narratives? Do the circumstances of their death trigger us?
We’re tired and overwhelmed, but we keep pushin’, some of us even grindin’, but however our freedom and liberation are tied to one another. We keep holdin’ multiple spaces : our personal lives and the day-to-day while also being overwhelmed by the attacks on all of us.
We keep digging deep, down in our reservoir of mattering. We keep uncovering ways to survive, resist, transcend, transform…and proceed. But however, we doing all of this without pause, cause the “doing” and the “saving” are our default settings.
Are we pausing to remember, name and reflect upon how we’ve been harmed? Are we pausing to remember, name and reflect upon who has been harmed, and by whom? Or, are we in constant motion? What is that thought, feeling…reaction, when it ain’t the state, but the man or womon or them who we love, sleep with or chose to rear a family with, who’s Black like us…how does it feel when it’s that person who chops us down, or ends our existence?
Are we scared to stop? Cos if we stop, life just might find us splattered on the living room floor with our hearts broken and foaming at the mouth. Do we have safe spaces to go where we, and our mattering, are at the center of the Universe?
Are there spaces to process when our bodies are surveillanced . policed . violated . excellence reduced ? The list keeps growing, there’s more and more in the media of the opinionated masses .
Does the diminishing of their character resonate with us—are they our own personal triggers?
And what do we do when “they,” is our own sisters, mothers, friends who’ve internalized, endorsed, upheld and sustained anti-Black racism, sexism…white supremacy and white patriarchy/matriarchy?
Can we just, be! Can we live!
The myth that we are all angry. The myth that we are just can’t get along.
The redundancy of the connectors…but and however, trip us up…Each time I type it or you read it, you reset. And that’s annoying, frustrating…irksome. Us getting dead is annoying, frustrating, tiring, fear inducing, unsettling…irksome. So what do we do? How do we meet ourselves where we’re at while also transcending the moment.
We have healing tools, but however:
do we name them…
do we remember them…
do we use them;
do we need new tools?
October, let’s harvest our tools!
Sistas, October 1-28, we will gather online to speak life and manifest joy! As we navigate throughout October we will discuss our thoughts, feelings and potential actions to DISRUPT the multi-pronged attacks on our existence!
We gather to interrupt the bull#@$^* & negativity that impact our DAY-TO-DAY LIVES. We gather to ACTIVATE self-preservation! This online gathering will culminate in a face-to-face gathering, a WORKSHOP, Saturday, October 29 in Chicago.
we gather to:
& MANIFEST JOY.
The October 29th workshop is $30. If you are experiencing financial hardship or in-between financial blessings then contact me, refer below for my email address, to discuss a sliding fee option.
Chicago Harvest Day: CAN WE LIVE is a (co)facilitated manifesting, whereas we, the harvesters—sistas in attendance —will collectively hold space for one another and we’ll do the work collectively.
We will do this through guided experientials grounded in EXPRESSION to process, heal and build resilience. We will express ourselves through the balanced polarities of: movement & stillness, sound & silence, art & science, guided performance & free play.
No training or expertise needed. All you’ll need, is you. You are what the collective we, have been needing to hear from. For details and to register visit: http://linkshall.ticketfly.com/event/1298035
About the (co)facilitator:
veronica precious bohanan is a visionary, youth and cultural worker, wellness practitioner, writer and an art therapist. In 2013, she launched create.heal.share., an arts initiative that uses creative expression to promote emotional wellness, (inter)personal healing, social action and community building. create.heal.share. is both a safe space and a wellness experience where participants can bring their whole selves, and are encouraged to engage in the healing process as experts of their own lives.
#sheBLOOMSblack #createhealshare #BlackGyrlVisible