Saturday, December 28, 2019

January and February 2019

January 2019
The year started with me jumping up and down on the stage at the Boston Women’s March.  Chioma, Vanessa and Rocio joined me on stage to say, ‘We are here’ Presente!
I walked on to the stage and spirit took over. We were jumping up and down. It was great!
We disrupted with truth and used every minute we had to speak on behalf of Black women, Black immigrant women, women of African descent and all the Guerreras and Cimarronas, whose shoulders we stand on.
After receiving the first ‘Every Woman Activist Award’ from March Forward Boston, this was an opportunity to share out loud why the conversation on women’s rights is not complete if Black women are not part or included in the conversation. We will create building our own spaces but know that when you invite us to the table we are not coming alone.
I give thanks for the recognition but the message became more important.
This unapologetic light was grounded in the knowledge that my Blackness is my center. It is where I find strength, clarity and peace. What a year it has been grounding in this truthful light.
Thank you to Janet Santos and the #Boston Women’s Fund for inviting me to speak at the Women’s March Breakfast. Here is to new beginnings!
#unity #inclusion #2019BostonWomensMarch
Boston Women’s March Speech 1/19/19

Me gritaron Negra
Y yo respondí
Si, orgullosamente Negra

I rise up in the spirit of Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, my mother, Audre Lorde, Victoria Santa Cruz of Peru. Sonia Pierre of Santo Domingo, Berta Cáceres of Honduras and Mireille Franco of Brazil.
I stand here in the spirit of Black women, African American women, low income women, black women activist and gentle warriors who are at the center of this movement who wear their crown fearlessly.
I Give light to our African sisters and mothers who have died fighting for liberation.
I stand her in the spirit with my young women of the HER Project.
Digo Presente con la luz de mujeres negras, mujeres afro, afro latinas de latino America y el Caribe.
I stand here with the light of all the soulful men, black men, brothers, hermanos who join us on this call.
I stand here in the spirit of my sisters, hermanas who are here to disrupt for real change to happen.
I stand here unapologetically Black

Mi reinas!
Stand strong in your space
Know your worth and dance in it
Shine in it
Break down walls in it

I’m a black woman in this world

black latina immigrant Presente!

I will not bow my head for you
The crown they gave me is heavy and filled with pride
Hear me
Hear my truth
If you play any part of oppressing those who are me
Then we cannot sit at the same table

It is Time to disrupt with love clarity and purpose
If we are not at the table then you are not having the real conversation

It is time
It is time for us to figure this out
Racism has been a part of this movement
It is time to be intentional so that it doesn’t repeat itself
It is time to listen
We can speak for ourselves for we are at the front line of this struggle
We have always led the way
We are here to stay

We are at a crucial crossroad, women, all women, women of color, allies to sit at the table and hear each other and build together
build together while making sure that no one is left behind
No one is above anyone
No one is seen less than
And specifically that black women, African women, black latinas are seen in their human light, in the righteous light, in their magical light.

I believe that those that look like me that come from that same fabric, that same root should have the best of the best wherever we are standing and whatever language we speak.
We will continue to fight for that and speak truth to that because that is love, that is what love looks like.

Asi es!
No voy a parar de hablar nuestra verdad
Porque esto es amor
Esto es vida
Esto es Negrura

I love this skin, I love the story that comes with this root, my tree has been shaken hard but not broken
We are Under attack and still rising with love, pain and resiliency

To heal is to speak this truth
To grow is to speak this truth

May we meet at the crossroad and build an inclusive agenda
May we rise fearlessly
May we continue speaking a truth that changes these harsh times
May we stand in light and love

Me gritaron negra
Y yo respondí
Si orgullosamente negra
Nacida y criada en Colon, Panama

February 2019
For 10 years I worked closely with Toshion the film, ‘Cimarronaje en Panama.’
A family and a bond was built out of this genuine loving energy. I will forever be thankful to Toshi for brining me along with him and for introducing me to the people I now call familia in Portobelo. This space, these people, have become my grounded, regrouping space. I love them so much.
Going to the San Diego Black Film Festival on behalf of the film was truly an honor.
The unforgettable moment on this stop was at the award ceremony. I was sitting at the table where Best Short Film won and Best LGBTQ story film won. As they began announcing the nominees for Best Diaspora Film, my heart was beating a mile a minute. Those that saw the film loved it and made it a point to come up and share their joy with me. I kept hearing, ‘every Black person, African should see this film. This is about all of us.’
When the announced Cimarronaje en Panama as a winner, I jumped up with the spirit of that 15 year old athlete. I was so happy for Toshi, for the film, the people of Portobelo, all those who took the time to be a part of this historic project
It was a labor of love for Toshi. It deepened my love for my #African #identity and made me fall in love with #Panama all over again. Every trip, sun burn, all of it, for 10 years was absolutely worth it.
It was truly an over the top joyous moment to hear the nomination and to hear that we won. I wrote this on Facebook that day. ‘OMG WE WON! Best Foreign/Diaspora Film at the #SDBFF. Congratulations Toshi! Thank you for inviting me to join you on this life changing journey. Much love!’
This will be the one of the highlights of 2019 but it will also be one of the highlights and great teaching moments on this journey.

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