BACK TO ORGANIZING: GOING SLOW

I haven’t written in a while, honestly because words just were not doing me any kind of justice.

In light of the aligning of the universe, I understand and accept that I have to begin organizing (again) for the liberation of Black Lives, here and globally.

I have received so many affirmations about the path I have chosen to walk as an academic soon to turn workforce, eventually settling into a mixture of practice and study. I have received affirmations about my relationships, many of them continuing on to be very healthy. I have received affirmations about being gentle with myself and knowing that though my feet may shake, my path is laid out on smooth, beautiful pavement.

That being said: I’ve also gotten affirmation that I have to begin organizing again. This affirmation has been received with much reluctance. Let me explain:

Last year in August when I began to organize with a local community organization, I was ill-prepared for the pure exhaustion and frustration that comes from organizing. As a very vulnerable person and an empath, I picked up on EVERYBODY’S shit. It was fucking hard. Sometimes people would be attacking others when they meant to be attacking ideas, I turned into an involuntary mediator almost immediately. And eventually when the organization crumbled, I was the leader in charge of revamping the space. And talk about demoralizing, man. People would bring up old shit, like everybody in the space still had to pay for the sins of people that weren’t even in the room. And I got most of that energy directed at me. Period. And in the midst of it all, I was battling depression and PTSD tooth and fucking nail. I have zero idea as to how I was a functioning person.

Nevertheless, I have no regrets. I fully understand that taking on any kind of leadership is taxing. Lord, it is so taxing. But last year, I didn’t know what the hell I was walking into. Now I do. And because I have been so enlightened, I want to be gentle with myself and be sure that my resolve is the strongest ever so that even when the personal attacks come — and they will, from inside and outside — I can still stand strong.

I constantly think about the strength that the 3 founders of Black Lives Matter — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi — have to pull from the core of their being to lead a movement that racist people are hell bent on identifying as a terror. While simultaneously having to deal with other Black and of color folks that attack Queerness, femme-hood, and intersectionalities that are so very real and lived. I have personally met Alicia and her grace is astounding. I am not very sure I will ever be capable of such a thing.

But, the universe has a way of telling you what you are capable of. And I aint got all the answers yet. But I do know that I will be way more gentle with myself as a leader, as a comrade, as a lover of Black folks and protect/forgive myself better.

Boundaries is the key fucking word of the day. This explains why even though our facebook page is getting hit left from right, I’m feeling slightly paralyzed. I am just scared that things can fall apart so eloquently as they did before. I am sure a lot of organizers feel this way.

BUT I would love if organizers had an open ass conversation about how exhausting this shit is. As well as how to build boundaries and to care for ourselves as so many others look to us for some sort of comfort and hope. How do we remember that Black love – including love of self – is the base of all Black liberation work? Especially considering most of this work is held of the backs of Black women — the mules of the world. I’m ready to have this conversation as we begin our next steps in the revolution. I need support.

I ain’t at the mountaintop at this exact moment, but I will be soon.


Originally published here.