Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Rules

Several months ago, Jay Z embarked on a campaign to release his newest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. This clever marketing ploy was designed to give access to some prior to the official release date of the new album. Others would have to purchase the album the same old way. I want to make this clear Jay Z was getting paid either way (okayyyy) and this is an oversimplification of the process because Jay Z is not the point of this blog post.

Around this time I was also embarking on a campaign. I was starting a new job and I was finding myself in more situations than I would have liked where I had to explain my personal politics in hostile, unwelcoming settings. I have always been clear about where my accountability lay and I explain it as an onion... (which poor black women girl child at the center and everyone else expanding from there).   I was spending more time talking about then being with people and I was tired. I felt like I had to keep going and that I couldn't ask for help.  The level of despair I felt was new territory for me. The systems seem to be winning and I had no glimpses of hope, no moments of celebrations. The personal and the professional seemed awry and I felt disingenuous, unauthentic and that I was not worthy. Worst of all, I felt I had to "hold it all together", or coded language that means I wasn't allowed to break down.

And I was confused about why when I explained that folks reacted as if I was a savage... unacceptable of understanding the nuisances and complexities of life, of love or friendship or race or work. I see now that a black woman being open about her struggles and love and weakness is a no-no in this society. The construct of sister souljah the strong black woman with a quick tongue and all the answers for everyone in her life is not something white supremacy wants us to dismantle. If we do, well it dispels the myths about infighting and hating each other. It makes an opening in the cracks of arguments about the depths and widths of our attitudes. We start to have humanity. We become more complex beings who love their families and their partners, who work and love and learn and get to just BE. God knows People hate to let a black women just be..

So I started thinking about new rules for black women in this world. And I started texting a friend of mine about it and I said I want to write some new rules for black women. Some new norms that we operate from. And then I started writing them, but I never shared them. Probably because I’m scary and I didn't want to offend or impose my thoughts on other people but some other things happened. The universe or God started me on a trajectory where I can no longer ignore the urge or suppress the need to contribute to the public discourse on race and class and gender. I’m not evolved in my thinking. My language is not complex but my mind works and as long as that’s the case I will share. 

So thank you Tanya Fields for replying to me after I shared my support of you on twitter. 
And Thank you Reina Jarmon who wrote #Blackgirlsarefromthefuture because we make the shit we believe in and hung out with me in a bar on a random Friday not by accident. 
And Marcus Lee and Jamal Lewis who embody solidarity and politicize me 
And Thank you Jess Solomon whose Facebook post this morning about building new worlds made me get off my ass this morning and try to put on paper that which is in my head. 

These are the first new rules… 

·      Vulnerability is asset not a deficit #newrules 
·      Loving self first is imperative and not selfish #newrules
·      The only person I have to hold it all together for is myself #newrules
·      Love with my whole heart #newrules 
·      Walk away form relationships that are toxic and don't allow me be my most authentic self #newrules
·      Don’t be ashamed to ask for what you want and need #newrules
·      Walk in purpose #newrules
·      If it isn’t there create it #newrules 

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