Mirroring a Grounding Light
Happy New Year familia!!
Moving with the energy of the recent 125th birthday of Zora Neale Hurston, I went back to read her words and to reflect back on my guiding word of 2015, Fearless. Encuentro Diaspora Afro and I mirrored each other throughout the year and began this New Year with a new word, Grounded.
As I sit here to write my first reflection of the year, I also look back at my posting from last year. I wrote less. Not because I did not have things to say but because I had so much to say and it was not enough to write about it. I had to act on it. I needed movement, like marching in the streets. I needed dance to release the fear and the pain. I needed singing to regain the joy.
Encuentro Diaspora Afro and I entered many spaces that brought us closer to synchronizing the voice and the light that has guided us diligently on this journey.
I came out the gate (the track athlete still lives within) of 2016 saying, this is who we are and this is what we bring to the table. We have learned so much and look forward to learning more. We stand here today comfortable in our position and in our skin. We felt pain and love simultaneously throughout and know that this is inevitable in the world we are currently living in.
We are still on the search to have us; people of African descent, see each other with our crowns, hoping that we can make the deeper connection. That connection would bring us to say, no matter where we landed, we are still connected and many of the things that we hold on to so tightly to create separation were imposed on us and we need to look beyond.
I have learned through the spaces that Encuentro Diaspora Afro continues to create and through the spaces that I have entered, that clarity of our identity is Key to our survival and our movement in this chaotic world that keeps showing us that Black Lives does not Matter.
When we embrace the song, WE DO MATTER, then with clarity, dignity and the righteousness that guides us we say even louder, BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Throughout the year Encuentro Diaspora Afro raised its voice saying we are people of African descent and Black Lives Matter.
Yvette raised her voice to say, I am proud to move in this skin and determined to let it shine above all the hate. I am a black woman and that comes with a lot and I say to you, Black girls/ Black Women Matter. You can talk about our body in degrading ways but we hold strong knowing, OUR BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL.
Pain teaches you resiliency, Love teaches hope and simplicity. Encuentro Diaspora Afro will not apologize for being Afro descendant centered and Yvette will not apologize for being African centered.
We have both gotten older and wiser and know that we still have more to learn yet being rooted in this message keeps us reaching for more.
Someone asked me recently how do you separate EDA and Yvette? I have learned that I can in some ways but in many ways I cannot because it started from the pain and love that was seen externally and felt internally and it is that pain and love that has kept us standing. Love has won the battle. Love for my people, my community and a deeper understanding of love for myself as a Black Panamanian Immigrant woman.
In the spirit of Queen Zora Neal Hurston we will not apologize for this righteousness that has arrived at our door step. Being honest with ourselves we reach a place of acceptance.
We stand looking in the mirror, grounded in that light that has guided us, smiling at each other saying, We are going to be All right!
Peace, Light and Love,