prayer: for those who are called black

This was read as part of The Dance Union Town Hall for Collective Action that happened on June 1st, 2020, you can view the entire video at the bottom:

This is a prayer and message for black people, the
people called black.

I pray we heal.

I pray we remove every obstacle in our lives that gets in our way of healing;

of putting our arms around one another’s shoulders

of crying

of holding

of heaving.

Remove every obstacle to grieving.

I pray to remove every obstacle to grieving.

I pray to remove every obstacle to breathing.

I pray to remove every obstacle to our activation.

May the heat of this time make us Pop off.

Becoming bigger than we ever were

May we use the heat of this time to explode, destroy, disintegrate the obstacles of our own personal societies.

may we heal.

may we know we matter.

may we know we are all we need.

may we know deep in our bones that we can,

respond to our needs.

we can

show up for ourselves

we can

build and be something else

we can leave.

we can

let go of that fuck nigga

that tells us we’ll be nothing without it

that tells us ‘look at all it does for us, how dare we’.

that fuck nigga

who is the shattered one.

May we say sorry to ourselves for letting them in, so far.

Say sorry to ourselves for not remembering who we are.

Say sorry to ourselves for playing along with the game.

This age long game of abuse

abuse

abuse

abuse

abuse

abuse

abuse

abuse.

We were born into this.

We will die out of this.

We are the ones who will leave.

We are the ones who will abandon these worlds of abuse.

We are the ones who will see it for what it is. And leave its streets empty.

Leave its cafes, malls, churches, schools, fellowships, studios, kitchens, projects, tenements, cubicles, bedrooms, facebooks, hotel rooms, hospitals, jails, empty.

And we’ll kotch up with each other, for a while.

Make sanctuary with one another, for a while.

Hide with one another, for a while.

And rejoice.

“I have missed so many warning signs because I
was caught up in accolades and success. That is my doing, this is
my undoing. I will no longer choose my own benefit if it
means that I participate in upholding power and white supremacy by ignoring the flags.
That makes me complicit too. As I actively work to undo this, I return to my values: My community.” – Nana Chinara

The message is clear.

We have to get out and return to our values.

We have to get out and return to our values.

We have to get out and return to our values.

We have to get out and return to our communities.

The message comes to me every time I’m drowning in the abyss, and it comes very clearly.

do not get it twisted.

get out.

RIP Marcus White, who always said, “Let’s be clear”.


Collaboration with Ron Ragin as part of his Black August in Motion series:

Original Town Hall where prayer was offered:

Recovery Series//ep. 3.1//why they banned//why we dance

Because you can’t tell me this is it. 

I don’t believe you.

You won’t tell me this is it. You won’t fix me to a reality where I am oppressed, where my gifts are suppressed.

I don’t believe you.

I dance with the unknown the unnamed the unseen the undocumented the unwritten the underworld the undead the undone. The feared.

I question this reality. And I make this reality.

I can’t believe I thought this was it. I can’t believe I believed this was it.

I’m escaping. 

I’m getting fucked up. I’m transcending. High.

I’m dancing in other worlds

You cannot tell me this is it.

I dance. In other worlds. That change your world. I live. And I’m live. I won’t be lied to.

I remember when I dance. I danced with the unknown the unnamed the unseen the undocumented the unwritten the underworld the unsung the undone the undead the feared the myself the my people the sky the sun the trees the stars the soil the dirt the moon

Now I saw. I see. 

There is Much More Than this, Now. Here. There’s much more.

You can’t tell me this is it. Like come on. I remember. 

And now that I remember, no one can sit and look me in my face and tell me some shit they made up, tell me some shit they believe that just so happens to affect my entire role on this planet? that just so happens to have me playing a part, a part that. has me fucked. up. That has me completely fucked up.

I don’t believe you. And, I’m not playing.

And I forgive you. Marguerite Angelica Monique Hemmings. I forgive you.

 


This poem was inspired by a dream I had that featured and explained the secret to —i can’t say here– in August 2018. while part of an artist fellowship at ASU. This was also inspired by the class I taught during the fellowship, where we asked the question ‘why do we dance?” and “why has dance, dances, dance forms, dance gatherings, been banned in so many instances, in so many cultures, throughout history?” “why is banning dance a tool used by oppressive forces?” we then decided dance must be a tool of liberation. a practice, a state of liberation.