I have to thank your great-grandmother
for the skin she thicked it through in, knit
by ancestors that birthed it out of ruins,
hymned as my fingers touch
your face; the finish on our quilt
I’m thankful for your grandmother’s spirit,
accomplished thanks to the strength I feel
build out of apprehension as to whether she
belonged, each time, I graduated on; Your
laugh jumps up and down… without apology
I thank your mother for her pride, her
expectations being too high for her to ever
stop at me, in moving forward toward her
dreams; …I watch the No!’s and Why?’s
in your vo.cab.ulary, swim away down stream
I thank, YoU, my dearest daughter,
thank you for giving birth to me! It’s for you
that I collect the colors and shapes of our
herstory! For you that I’ve begun to dance
and sing, like everyone is watching, you;
My pride in everything
I’m transforming likened to
– Tone Are
It has been a good while since I last blogged. Twice, I’ve made an attempt at keeping a blog, and twice I let it weather to the season.
A couple of factors bring me back again. Read the poem above and you get what is perhaps my deepest calling to write; to leave a voice behind for the future. For what other reason we’ve managed to innovate record I don’t know; I am a teacher and am deeply fixed towards passing down our stories. Read the statement below (which you will also be able to read in the “ABOUT” section) and you get a more intellectual processing of the notion I just professed, per speaking to the future. I am also brought back by the encouragement of my community; folks who have expressed a belief in me and a desire to see me producing/writing. Last blog I was kind of hyped off an honorable word from the one and only kezembe Balagun. This time I’m just as privileged to be reached by the awesome sister doing awesome things; Tania Romero.
I have promised myself, to keep in discipline with Tania and a cadre of folks who have joined a challenge to write for 31 straight days. From there, I will continue this blog at a more paced volume, haha. It will be dedicated to writings that seek to cultivate a conversation around manhood. What would a revolutionary manhood look like? Can one exist? If it can, what might it look like? Does it already exist? How is it being exemplified? How must we continue to shape the conversation/ what role can we play in our day to day lives to ensure that we are living into a revolutionary ideal for the future?!?
Join me in this journey; be you man or woman!
………………………………………………………………… THE BROTHER MAN……….
As men we have historically claimed domain over the earth. While the human race has seen epochs in time during which Women bore supreme governance and divine recognition… while societies ancient and contemporary bare record of various archetypes of masculinity and male sexuality rising to mainstream acceptance; the world we see today is the place we’ve arrived at along the evolution of humanity, as it synthesizes itself in adaptation to the balance of forces which in a myriad of ways so define it.
Patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism. These dominant systems of social hierarchy have come to be constructed as a means of design, to pose as the natural reality we live into. They intersect to reinforce how we relate to the material world, to the spiritual world, and to one another as men, women, elders, and children. Thus, patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism can till this day be identified as the root determinants of how the world at large plays into agreement with racism, sexism, homophobia, slavery and exploitation, for the security and prosperity of the capitalist ruling class, the white inheritors of colonial network/access/privilege, and men collectively.
The Brother Man understands that while the dynamics of traditional relationships men assume amongst one another (including with Queer identified men), with women, our elders, and with our children, varies specific to cultural tradition; in today’s world there is no place and there are no peoples who live outside of the influence of the intricate and far reaching dominant global order. We recognize that we as men are born into a certain privilege and entitlement granted by patriarchy. >> Therefore The Brother Man rejects the fallacy that Women and Queer people have the opportunity to live free from the expectations of this context we’ve constructed to place ourselves (straight men) at the center of, WITHOUT our concerted effort to challenge and ultimately deconstruct patriarchy within ourselves and amongst one another. >> Just as we reject the universal accord that we ourselves (as men) can be free to gain the true knowledge of our humanity for its nurturing, pursue the true potential of an bountiful/ sustainable quality of life, or generate and receive the spiritual intuition responsible for happiness/health/and wisdom; if we do not move forward from the status system, with a vision for shared power across institutional and societal bounds.
Dr. Martin Luther King said no one is free until everyone is free.
…To the struggle,
– Tone Are.