On March 3rd, 2009 six year old Aniysah was taken from her mother’s arms and thrown into a legal shuffle of unaccountability, instability and discrimination. There were no records verifying that she would be taken to a safe living environment or that she was enrolled in school. Questions about her health and well-being went unanswered. That was 150 days ago. To date, Aniysah remains lost in the legal system. A system where black and brown children go missing everyday. A system where black mothers like Aniysah’s are often left to fend for themselves in a brutal, dogged battle just to make sure their children are safe.
The program seeks to promote artists of color working in any
visual, literary, and/or performance-based media, who display
artistic excellence, are committed to an artistic career, and
are under-served, under-recognized or under-represented in
the mainstream. Must be permanent residents of Illinois, Indiana,
Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, or Wisconsin.
The $4,000 award may be used at the artist’s discretion; however,
receipt of the award is contingent on the artist’s completion of
a month-long residency. Deadline August 15, 2009.
Post the Allied Media Conference there is alot of thinking, questioning and conversation happening. It’s one of the reasons I value the space so much because it puts me in that frame of mind. Already based on yesterday’s post, I am having mamis say what about those times when all you can do as a single mama of color is barely list up the damn remote.
Yes, what about those times and how do we hear that, really listen without being dismissive or saying “you ain’t down”.
En serio, que parte te regalo?
Seriously, which piece should I give to you?
Que pedazo de mi carne y su historia te vendo?
What part of my flesh and it’s history can I sell to you?
Cuanto me das por una libra de lagrimas?
How much can I get for a pound of tears?
Cuanto me das por cada cuenta de rosario con nombre de un muerto
How much will you give me for each rosary bead named for the dead?
Is there a list building app for that?
Cuanto me das por las horas de miedo por mis hijas menos blanca que yo?
How much will you give me for the hours of fear for my daughters less white than me?
Seriously, what’s the going per hour rate for that shit?
And do I get some sort of credit for the threats, bruises, and tape
is there an employee incentive program for the healthcare that I cannot get
that I am told that I don’t deserve
como se traduce que mi vida como madre y mujer
no vale fucking nada?
What the fuck do I need to put on my resume?
Who the fuck do I need to pay to bring me over that border
when I’m told that my border ain’t real
cuz one mañana abuela woke up to work the fields
step over her drunk father
as an American Citizen.
How much tit or pussy do I have to fucking flash to make it any clearer that the dollar I earned doing just that is worth any fucking less than yours because it ain’t backed by a degree or sponsored by an organization
cuz it ain’t got a book deal.
I do not get to clock out of this shit,
or write it off on my taxes
as a business expense.
En mothafucking serio
tell me to my cara
mujer a mujer
que los 16 años
that have included the oh so valued
television, radio, newspaper appearances
speaking in front of the UN, congress and las divinas called del south bronx
que this lucha isn’t about who the fuck I am
isn’t about my identity?
Everyone should read and reflect upon Cripchick’s post on accessibility and what that means for the various communities we are a part of.
Here’s a pedacito:
do you have childcare so parents can come? will kids be safe and have programming so parents don’t have to worry about them?
# sliding pay scales
do you have different payment options? if people can’t afford your event, can they volunteer their time or services instead?
# different ways of getting information out
how do people hear about your events? is it just email and facebook or do you use mailings and phone trees too?
# gender-neutral bathrooms
with a long history of trans and genderqueer people being harrassed and in danger when they go into bathrooms, do you have bathrooms where gender does not matter? a lot of times gender-neutral bathrooms are single-room bathrooms where disabled people can also go in with their personal attendants or parents can take their kids. this is helpful for everyone.
# food options
do you ask about people’s allergies or if they need vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc?
# wheelchair and other mobility-related access
is Point A far from Point B for folks that walk? what physical barriers are there?, if you’re going to close meeting room doors, are they heavy?, are there chairs for people? are the chairs wide enough that everyone can be comfortable? it’s cool to be creative about making things work but know that if basic access requires a lot of energy, people may not come.
She’s asking for peeps to being their own ideas to the blogmesa as well.
Feelings, emotions and truth unfortunately do not pause as we move forward with our work, build strong coalitions and more importantly make sure we create a path for those after us to follow. My mentor Richie Perez made a point of this: teaching so that others could move the struggle forward. While I am no Richie, one of my favorite things to do is speak to young people.
Tomorrow I will be at a local high school leading workshops on identity politics and the media and I can’t wait. While I am not looking forward to the running around to make sure Miss Poroto is taken care of, I am looking forward to sharing space with students.
Just a little shameless plug. Tomorrow nite (Wednesday) I am going to be speaking on the Powerful Latinas interview series about the development of my political consciousness, and how my creation of my media outlets are connected with my politics.
Last summer in Detroit, I was blessed and was a part of a group of incredible radical women of color media makers and media justice fighters. We spilled and spit our voices and experiences into a mic and transformed that into a CD compilation of spoken word, poetry, and song and ahora you can share our experience and in the process help mamis of color and other mujeractivistas attend this year’s Allied Media Conference.
Speak! is a women of color-led media collective. In the summer months of 2008, they created a CD compilation of spoken word, poetry, and song. After months of hard work, they are excited to finally share their first self-named album with the world!
With artists and poets from all over the country, the Speak! CD is a testament of struggle, hope, and love. Many of the contributors are in the Radical Women of Color blogosphere and will be familiar names to you. Instead of just reading their work, you’ll be able to hear their voices.
Yours truely, la Mamita Mala, is on the cd and you can also get a zine and download a curriculum porque the voices and experiences on the cd are not just meant to be listened to and forgotten pero rather are meant as steps to build movement forward upon.
A la mujer the other nite on 63rd Drive and the team of chicas who stepped up that night.
Porque no soy Rihanna, save a few people the night I was left bruised made a big deal of it.
Some told me I needed to leave, now.
Others told me that yes it was a big deal pero that it didn’t mean the end of the relationship.
Others said, plan mujer plan. Stay quiet and plan.
I knew what it meant to me.
I don’t know why I took a picture of the bruise left on one of my arms when I was thrown to the ground.
Somewhere in the back of my head maybe I was planning to call the police.
Perhaps it was for my own remembering, so that I wouldn’t forget.
I still haven’t forgiven.
The whispers were still there, they questions as to why I stayed for so long
as if I had a world of options available to me and my two children
y porque no me llamo Rihanna
the story isn’t one on the front pages of revistas and on bochinche shows
even though it isn’t just my story.
It’s mine and Rihanna’s and millions, millions of others.
Porque no eres Rihanna
no one took pictures of you mujer that snowy March night
even though I counted a dozen people who noticed the way he pushed you om the sidewalk
and yelled obscenities in your face.
Only three teenage girls and I stayed on the street
slowly moving towards you
figuring out if he was some stranger or someone you knew
not that that should matter.
The teenage girls and I would not leave you.
We asked if you were ok and if we could do anything.
You said yes
to call 911.
That he was drunk.
The two of you moved towards the closing doors of the fast food restaurant
pero did nothing
porque you weren’t Rihanna
no one took a picture.
I stood in between you and him
as he he spit how you were his wifey.
I told him that was no way to treat wifey.
In the end you decided that you didn’t want to wait for the police
that you wanted to go home with him
and you did
and the teenage girls and I watched quietly
motionless in the street
hoping and praying it would all be ok for you.
Pero porque no somos Rihanna
no one talks about the bigger picture
just the tv picture