If there were a national (US) Afro-Latino event going on (whether film showing, conference, etc.) and there was a PayPal account or some other way to offer funds, would you be willing to donate (even if it’s 5 or 10 bucks) to help raise visibility and ensure that the event could occur (as smoothly as possible)?
Here, in this place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. LOVE it. LOVE it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it… You got to LOVE it, YOU!… This is flesh I’m talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Flesh that needs to rest and dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms, I’m telling you… And all your inside parts they’d just as soon slop for hogs, YOU GOT TO LOVE THEM… More than your life-giving womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize. -Baby Suggs, Holy
Over HERE in the BETTACOMECORRECT-sphere, we love our black bodies. And HERE, in this space, we celebrate that which we love. So consider today (and every day) Vagina Celebration Day.
We acknowledge and affirm that the vagina is one of the spaces with/in our bodies where pleasure happens—where life happens, and we have been thinking about some ways that we can call attention to and honor what is ours. Yes, that dark, intoxicating, funk-filled, love chamber called vagina is YOURS!
And we praise the black vagina; we sing the black vagina; we dance the black vagina; we caress and make love to our Beautiful Black Vaginas.
Oh, vagina, thy name is F-R-E-E-D-O-M!
What are some things we can do to make sure that vaginas feel happy, healthy, and celebrated ALL the TIME? We started a list; add to it at your leisure, because every day is Vagina Celebration Day!
Vagina Celebration Day Tips:
The act of naming is powerful; name your vagina. Have a naming ceremony for her/him/zee. Invite your brilliant friends over to celebrate.
Masturbate. Go ahead, show your vagina some love from you to her/him/zee.
Give your vagina the gift of hot, steamy, black feminist sex! Your vagina, and your partner(s), will thank you for it.
Take your vagina for a wellness check; there is nothing in the world like a happy, healthy, black feminist vagina.
Does your vagina like photos? Get your mirror, your camera (and your partner(s), if applicable), and make some beautiful black vagina art!
Does your vagina like wax? Then take ______ to the spa. Get a trim or a Brazilian. Holla!
Air. You read that right—air. Let __________ breathe! Leave the undergarments at home for the day! If that is too much, try sleeping without panties/underwear/boxers/briefs/shorts for a few days.
Greens. We “have heard that it has been said” that drinking kale smoothies daily increases/supports womb health.
I just told my play brother about goldy. He is arguably the only person in my inner circle in dee cee that hasn’t met her yet. I was nervous.
He works a lot.
He said something interesting. Which is that, being from the hood makes it easier to be yourself.
I don’t know if I agree with that.
Implicitly he was saying that I was lucky and that he knew women like me, but they wouldn’t pursue their desire.
There are always consequences for asserting the right to be who you are. However, I do know that middle class black respectability politics are real and that both men and women bump up against them.
What do you think?
Being queer and Latina/immigrant/Caribbean and from the hood (once) meant you got the whole rape-them-straight deal from the men on the block. Like, if only they used the right kind of violent force, you would suddenly flip back straight….
Perhaps in some simplistic context, such violence might seem unnecessary, yet in a culture that consistently diminishes the violence associated with rape, often employing user friendly euphemisms like sexual violence—as was the case in the initial New York Times coverage of a recent Texas gang rape case—rather than call a rape a rape. As an artistic statement, intended to disturb the public square, Rihanna’s deployment of the gun is an appropriate response to the relative silence associated with acts of rape, let alone the residual violence that women accusers are subject to in the denial and dismissal of their victimization with terms like “she deserved it,” or “she was asking for it” because of her style of dress.
One wishes that as much energy that was expended criticizing Rihanna’s video for its gun violence was expended to address the ravages of the rape culture that we live in. One man may be down, but rape culture is still standing.
I have to admit I’m not a big fan of Rihanna’s pipes, but regarding the pseudo-concern about her video promoting gun violence, all I can say is, bullshit. Guns and violence are central fixtures of US culture (see: Palin), but only certain, very specific expressions of violence get the frowny stick-wavy treatment of mainstream media critics; in this instance, of course, a Black woman defending herself. Sorry but in my book, a victim of rape has the right to send her attacker to the cemetery. Period. Yeah I’m also a hopeful student of restorative justice and I’d love to see a world which transcends retribution, but we’re not there yet and until we are, I will believe in the right of oppressed, erased, trapped, unsupported people to defend themselves by any means necessary.
From another angle: are Rihanna’s critics seriously against retributive violence? Because if I recall correctly, last month the President of the United States stood before the country and the world and basically held up the severed head of Osama Bin Laden to much national rejoicing. That was as unambiguous an illustration of the national belief in violent retribution as you could possibly muster. The “message to the children” from that momentous event was: When you’re pretty sure someone has gravely wronged you, the noble thing to do is, hunt them down and kill them. Nothing Rihanna could ever do in her career will come close to teaching a generation the patriotic value of retributive violence.
Yeah, that’s the thing about these supposed “values” we hear about at very certain moments and not at others. When you pay attention to what kinds of people are and are not allowed to do (everything) a, b or c, then it becomes very clear that it’s never about the values, and always about certain kinds of people overstepping barbed wire shadows.
Below are a few of the pieces that informed my post on Rihanna and afrofuturism. A more comprehensive bibliography on afrofuturism and black speculative fiction is available here: http://afrofuturism.net/criticism/. For a piece like “Man Down,” there is a lot of work in the field of gender and…
Mia and I are so ecstatic that our Shawty Got Skillz fam will be heading to the Allied Media Conference this year! The Allied Media Conference is what made To the Other Side of Dreaming even seem like it was possible. We want our community to be able to experience the transformative stretching of our imaginations that we did.
Please support Shawty Got Skillz in attending the AMC! You can chip in to their fundraising efforts at shawtygotskillz.tumblr.com.
Stacey and Mia
Mia Mingus and Stacey Milburn are friggin amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this video and for the love. Shawties got mad skillz.