I’ve written quite a few posts before about this month, what it means to people, and the education we both have and haven’t received about Black history. Today, I’m writing about some new thoughts: the way we celebrate BHM changes depending on the context we’re living/celebrating in and especially as we’ve seen this last year, the perspective you place on that celebration.
In the same way that the US has seen major changes in the way we think or are impacted by the political, health, and social spheres of our lives, I think we also need to pay more attention to the groups that should be centered in the conversations about these issues. If we aren't active in who we center in these conversations, we contribute to the erasure of more people and more cultures simply because we aren’t willing to listen to anyone beyond ourselves.
My poem today exemplifies that there is a different kind of weight that comes with how we each live our lives and as a Black woman who fights for those around me, I understand that there are burdens to the way I care for others. People of color so commonly have to build the spaces we want to be a part of because they almost never exist the way we need them to until we put in the work to create them; right now, Tianna is being penalized before those spaces in SLO and beyond can truly begin to exist.
Whatever works for you might not work for everyone else and what you and someone else needs may not be the same, but when these areas do intersect, that’s when things get interesting. Lately, people have been protesting through ways that you wouldn’t expect them to be, from violin vigils to massive group yoga sessions in the middle of intersections. Though each are across the board in how we interact with them, they are all forms of expression, self-care, and protest at the same time. Poetry is no different.
Within one large group of people, there is always a divide between one side or another. Even within one minority—black people in this case—there are still some who are offered more humanity or more visibility than others. Here, we see the men more than we see the women. At least that’s what a lot of people they are seeing. Welcome to pride month everyone. Because the black trans* and queer community is the group you most likely forgot to remember. Today, we’re getting intersectional.