supporting Black healers in Ferguson, and writing on the role of healers in times of war and crisis

Hey friends!

 I have been in deep grief, anger, listening, action  and reflection in the past two months, on the imperial war and genocides happening in regards to the Israeli invasion and bombardment of Gaza, the murder of Mike Brown and Black truth speaking, resistance and community organizing in Ferguson, MI, the murder of two transgender women in Detroit in the last two weeks and the murder of Tina Fontaine in Winnipeg and the ongoing violent denial and anti Indigenous racism of the Canadian colonial state towards missing and murdered Indigenous women- to name just a few things. As many know, we are in the middle of an intense time, where it feels like the heat is turned way up and we are in  a place of being smacked real fucking hard in the face with realities that are around all the time, and being asked what action we need to take to co-create justice. 

One of the things I have been thinking about is the purpose and role of healers in these times, both in general and as I ponder the next steps this gonna-be-40-in-six-months!  life wants to take me. I’ve been saying goodbye and closing doors on some things and opening doors on others, and sitting and listening and learning a lot. There are so many ways healers are moving up in these times- from healers, like the amazing Adaku Utah of BeatBox Botanicals (https://www.facebook.com/events/440047986128870), a powerful healer, dancer and organizer who I met at the Allied Media Conference’s Healing Justice Practice Space she co organized two years ago,  going with Black Lives Matter’s Black community rides to Ferguson this weekend. I want to encourage folks to  donate money to the Organization for Black Struggle here: http://www.handsupunited.org/donate-here  to support healers and other folks getting to Ferguson, as well as ongoing organizing: and here for the Oakland ride of Black Lives Matter folks, including healers, going: http://www.gofundme.com/df9254

I have also been inspired by kin Layla Krysty Feghali’s post about the position of healers during times of deep struggle and revolutionary crisis: http://thehoneyscryer.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/making-liberation-whole-legacies-of-healing-in-times-of-genocide/  This writing is incredible and on time. Her stories about revolutionary healers who are Black and Indigenous choosing to stand with the people in times of extreme crisis are what I needed to hear. I’m still reflecting on it, and wanted to share. But the stories in there that she shares… damn!  I am particularly sitting with the knowledge she shares, about how many African traditional healers, priests and priestesses, during trans atlantic slavery, ” in an act of liberation, actually volunteered themselves to join the diaspora so they could serve their people struggling under immensely violent conditions of exploitation and forced displacement from their homes and livelihoods.” She shares stories of Babalawo Adechina, a Yoruban priest of Ifa, who swallowed his divination tools when taken in enslavement to Cuba so that they wouldn’t be destroyed by white slavers, won his freedom, and helped build communities of freed Black people in Cuba. I am holding Layla’s truths: that healers do not abandon their people during times of extreme crisis, and that we have been present as liberator/healers during the most murderous of times. 

Sending love to us all in the whirlwind, as we make choices about how to keep loving and fighting,

Leah

 

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One Comment Add yours

  1. ❤ thanks so much for sharing, sis. glad that the writing was supportive and well received. the task, for me, is how to be present with our people from a place of clarity, anchored love, and an attitude of life and wisdom that can uplift our people's deepest well-source of power, wellbeing, and liberation rather than feed our (and their) own rage and oppression as it so quickly swoops in to weaken and completely defeat us from ever experiencing such freedom or LIFE at all. its very hard to offer deep healing when i myself am in a dissociated state of rage, pain, and despair. and then again, when i really enter and engage all that is occurring, its very hard NOT to be in that state sometimes. how do i honor my people by being accountable to this healing role and the attitude and resilience it requires? how do i learn from the attitude and offerings of these ancestors who found ways to do just this so that we could even be here to discuss this all? how do i commit to upholding the vibration of LIFE itself and identify with those energies that can and do liberate me/us to carry forward towards victory, without dismissing nor internalizing the identity and reality oppressors have imposed (or try to) upon us? using the liberation and connectivity of life to fuel me rather than the rage of murder and death- both of which are equally real and available in my people even (and especially) those who are in facing the worst of it. the resilience of identifying with life is a very sacred shield, and one i am choosing to cultivate and allow to win.

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