A Revolutionary Compass for 2014Happy New Year familia!
I hear the word revolutionary a lot. Most times it is used in a way that seems, odd or negative. For 2014 I would like to claim it as a word that implies our act to love ourselves unconditionally and reach for what is rightfully ours.In 2013 I wrote about searching and reaching beyond the words written in the books that do not speak our truth. I shared the words of Mrylie Evers Williams from her Inaugural address, “their spirit infuse our being to work together with respect, enabling us to continue to build this nation, and in so doing we send a message to the world that we are strong, fierce in our strength, and ever vigilant in our pursuit of freedom.”
I wrote about my beloved Colon, dedicated one of my Reflections to my Papa, one of the Silver men, and shared my thoughts on my trip to the Dominican Republic and Nelson Mandela. It was a year of reaching for truth. For 2014 we hope to continue on this path by highlighting a few areas.
The first is of great organizational and collective interest. It is the Dominican –Haitian conflict. I truly believe this is our compass. This is the compass, for Afro descendents to know if we are moving in the direction of prosperity, for all. If we cannot get a people to see that this act is far from just a migration issue but of a deeply rooted conflict of black identity, then we are in conflict as a whole of our blackness beyond the color of our skin.The other is the work with the young men of the HIS (Hermanos is Solidarity) Project and the young women of the HER (Hermanas Exchanging Roots) Project. These young people have touched the very core of my soul. Sitting with them every week has confirmed that our compass took us to the right place.
They confirm the need to address the first issue as most are Dominicans and are struggling with the message they have heard for years, their personal experiences and their journey to awareness as they sit with us week after week.My heart is heavy when they say; Ms. Being black in DR is not easy. My heart is heavy when I hear their dislike, towards Haitians without any real exchange with a Haitian. My heart is heavy when they do not know they are black based on skin color or roots. This is deep familia, and this is our future if we don’t address the direction of this compass.
We need to re root the direction of our compass to face the truth, address the misinformation of history and truly embrace who we are.The final area is my ever beating heart of areas. This is the ongoing fire to uplift my home community of Colon. Although in a state of crisis, I still wake up believing that the compass will direct us, not to the Colon of the past but a Colon of the future that will have an inclusive voice, a Colon that will benefit from the richness it creates but is denied to retain.
Embracing our full self is not an easy journey but let us all give it a Revolutionary try for 2014. A compass is about forward motion in the right direction to successfully reach your destination.For 2014 our wish is for a revolutionary compass that will uplift our righteous crown and direct our heart to love the face in the mirror and the face that reminds you of your abuelo/a, tia/o.
Let us look in the same direction, a direction that will say success in Dominican Republic means success in Haiti. Success in Colon means success in Colombia. Success in Boston means success in South Africa. Let us direct our youth to a place of internal healing that will transfer to a positive self image. That will be our Revolutionary compass, the Revolutionary act to be Negro y Orgulloso.
In light and peace,