Reflections on #sayhername

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I woke up this morning with confusion and indecisiveness in my spirit. This memorial day, a group of Black women, femmes and their allies observed the holiday by marching through the streets of Atlanta for Black women and girls affected by state and police violence. I’d known about this march for days now and my spirit wanted me to go but my sickness made me doubtful. This sickness, depression, has kept me in isolation for months and away from social settings with friends and movement work with comrades. It also guilt tripped me for not having the will to march, facilitate and organize. This morning, I found the will, called an Uber car and went to the Garnett transit station to meet the other protesters. I had anxiety in my belly as I arrived that was quickly alleviated when one of my sisters hugged me. After about an hour of fellowship that included light conversation and sign-making, we lined up in pairs and began to walk. The march, while mostly silent, was the most transformative experience I’ve had in a while. We chanted, poured libations and shared testimonies. I decided to carry my poster from pride along with my rainbow flag and I was apprehensive about bringing it until I got to the park where we held council. A Black man broke into our circle and decided to lecture us about nation-building. He walked towards me and others yelling “if you about liberation, you shouldn’t be afraid to fuck a man!” He continued on his tirade until security gently pushed him out of the circle.

Despite that momentary negativity, the event continued without missing a beat. Some sistas burned sage, others sang and a few spoke. When I returned home, I slept off my physical tiredness but my mind is full. I am thankful for this event because it reminded me of my passions and potential purpose. It reminded me why I did movement work in the first place and it inspired me to start pondering how I can get back into it. This isn’t my best or longest set of words but it inspired me to write. I’m going to continue to push myself and make this community despite what my sickness tells me I cannot or should not do. I’m here and you will be seeing more of me.

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