Monday, July 9, 2007

Having Broken the Ice...

It was appropriate that my first post on my blog ever be a shout-out to my inspiration, but it was also a good way for me to break my own ice. Its like in class, seminar, conferences, whatever, when I know exactly what I want to say, the questions I want to ask, but cannot for the life of me just get up the darn courage to raise my hand. And then I want to be pissed when someone else says just what I was thinking. I can't be angry at them for taking that hard and hardest step of opening their mouths and letting God come out. And I can't afford to continue "waiting 2 speak" or waiting for others to speak for me. My email signature--you know, the bottomest line in the email which once upon a time was meant for your professional credentials and now is used as a dumping ground for people's quote-of-the-moment? Well, mine is a quote by James Baldwin:

"We live in an age in which silence is not only criminal but suicidal...
for if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night."

Silence has been wielded against women, particularly women of color (black, Latina, Asian, and others), as much as it has been wielded by women. And that silence has ranged from the violent, yawning, barbed silence of a rape victim to the squirming, tinged orange and yellow silence of the one little black girl in her Honors English class ready with the answer but waiting to be called upon. Its an inheritance that I've come into, unfortunately, but a legacy I don't intend to pass on. Frederick Douglass wrote in his autobiography, "I was born an insurgent." Well, that is probably a lie--an insurgent is made from the people, society, and experiences around him or her. Insurgency is a process. Fighting assimilation, as one of my mentors Dr. Clyde Woods once told me, is a constant struggle. Emphasis on constant. All of which means that if I am to be as insurgent as I truly want to be, if I ever hope to use my words, skills, privilege and conflict to speak for others, then I first have to speak for myself.

So this blog is my first step in really committing to doing so. I've made it public purposefully and welcome comments. I also look forward to possibly adding on a collaborator or two.

Other than that, I'll just let my words speak for themselves.

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