We Thriving?

Current mood: Screenshot_20200509-191206

I am something painful confusing beautiful right here

My second tattoo happened on my 25th birthday, ten years ago.

Today, I taught about myself based on 2 overlapping symbols inked 7 years apart on my body (one pictured here) via Zoom to a handful of 9th grade students, their art teacher and an administrator who also identified as Afro Indigenous. I facilitated learning about counter-narratives (specifically testimonios) through tattoo studies.

WHAT A

STRANGE AMAZING

LEARNING EXPERIENCE.

  1. I have never been around such silence among youth
  2. It was the first time I was paid as an “artivist” (1st taught art in 2011 and 1st sold my art 2019)
  3. One youth explained his experience at U.S. schools: it was annoying to use titles such as “ma’am” and “sir” – in their culture, that’s not a thing
  4. Another youth told us that a bible is centered on their flag; while I did not previously know that, I was not surprised by the fact

Afterwards, as my day went on, I shared the heart-warming news of being given such an opportunity with one of my FB communities:

BIPOC communities and (true) White alleys across NYC are invested in mutual aid and are helping feed and care for those most affected by this current crisis exacerbated by the capitalist pandemic. Many folxs are donating their fed stimulus money in order to hire more educators of Color for various subjects that students are usually deprived of (i.e. art). After some of my comrades learned about my struggles with finding work (and being put in limbo by my uni), I was hired as a teaching artist at one school just for this week and I am being paid, literally, 10 times what my assistantship pays me. Like, my paycheck for 4 days (40mins/day) is equivalent to the salary I get for 40 assistantship hours.

Isn’t it bizarre that a professional with a B.A. and MS.Ed. and 15+ years of teaching/work experience is being paid just barely $20/hr for “important” work and is currently homeless (no more paychecks after this month)? Isn’t it also odd that folxs being called “essential” workers do not make livable wages either?

To me, it is enlightening and beautiful that my community is concerned and invested in the actual well-being of others and that our actions extend beyond just theory. It felt strange at first, but now I understand, more than ever that

Another world IS possible If you believe this, FIGHT I will fight with, for, and by your side always In solidarity ❤ I will fight with, for, and by your side always If you believe this, FIGHT ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE!!

 

Another world IS possible
If you believe this, FIGHT
I will fight with, for, and by your side always
In solidarity ❤
I will fight with, for, and by your side always
If you believe this, FIGHT
ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE

One of my college students linked me to this: Afro Latina

“When you are Black you don’t get to choose if you’re gonna roll with Blackness. Blackness is inherent in you.”Screenshot_20200510-093153

Another student linked Olivares: “...it’s powerful when you begin to articulate yourself…. and speak it out loud…”

And this was linked by another thinker in my class: “Can you still be considered an immigrant if you are travelling to a place that was yours to begin with?”

On some days I ask myself all of those questions.

My internal dialogue repeats The Talk we were given daily.

We are not like them. They are dangerous. We must not cause a scene. They frighten easily and will not hesitate to shoot. The men are very angry. They only want one thing from women. They love their guns.

Survive. Survive. Survive.

Hablales de el papa, les encanta la religion…

Last week, I drove far to be alone. What a privilege! Tuesday the 5th of May 2020 a motorcycle driver revved the engine and got on one wheel as they drove by me through a red light (was red before he hit the pedestrian zebra). I didn’t pay it much mind but I made sure to grab my pocket knife as an extra precaution. During a 30 minute run two trucks full of (what appeared to be) light skin men (some on the bed) made holler sounds, one revved the engine..

Maybe they were lookin for a hoot n a holler…

The following day, my advisor and I talked about the event and I told her that I hate having to be constantly wondering about where I can run, what I’m wearing, to not look too Black, not too masculine but also not too feminine… there was now a second layer added to the usual fear being in the South: covidiots. I admitted that I felt foolish carrying a pocket knife knowing quite well that everyone likes guns here. My MMA skills are mostly bullshit – didn’t even save me from the loser alcoholic ex.

My insomnia has returned but was particularly unsettling last week. Then in the early morning of May 7th, I read about Ahmaud Arbery then Sean Reed then Nina Pop and I was just done with the world for a bit, infuriated, tristapena, sad sorrow…

The Navajo Nation Now Has More Known COVID19 Caes Per Capita Than Any State

I grew up within Black Indigenous cultures but was aggressively re-directed by, it felt like, all the adults in my life. When given the option of Black or White, choose White. Native is never an option. Sanford, Florida was poor Black and poor White on one side of 46A and filthy rich on the other side – Orlando magic players, boy bands and other famous people lived in Timacuan, Heathrow…

I never got the choice

in the 8th grade I began writing my autobiography titled

A N***er Like Me

because I didn’t know any mulatto mestizos. I got detention that year with my bff for refusing to pledge allegiance by a nasty man named Crooks. We laughed that the gross social studies teacher’s name was so appropriate, fitting. No matter what any loved one or stranger advised, I do not have European White phenotype and am always stripped of the choice to be othered

By high school I started to be proud-full of my rebellions and begana memoir simply titled:

UNCOUTH

Today it feels like racialization is an opportunity-rich choice

this disgusts me

Nos quitaron tanto que nos quitaron el miedo

Aqui estamos y no nos vamos!

Screenshot_20200511-214121

The fragments of hip-hop culture that remain and sometimes emerge are pieced together with NYC rappers and the cultural artifacts that are not necessarily obvious (to them) connections:

After the beautiful “battle” ^ I got the urge to listen to \/ which I got on cd

I don’t ask myself why, I just try to figure out the associations

today’s The Talk was a bit more creative Screenshot_20200511-202113

Pick different spots because they keep track of patterns

some people have nothing better to do with their time

This is Jill Nelson, she was arrested recently in Manhattan for writing “Trump=Plague” in Chalk

Screenshot_20200511-191151

I gave thanks to Little Richard, creator of Rock N Roll at some point

Screenshot_20200510-175441

I blared my music a lot obnoxious today and told myself to have a good time, fuck fear

I synced my sister and I today in order to get sympathy pain – she got chocolate flavors due to my incessant chocolate eating today (I didn’t feel guilty since losing ~15lbs recently)… probably a protein deficiency…

 No Sé

Screenshot_20200507-061143This week we got a new family member. I saw how a lot of our children learn our language through food. Little A dice “Pitahaya” a su manera ❤

they will come to me

Coming up we will be celebrating one of my favorite little persons:

Screenshot_20200511-141103

Tonight I am at peace here

For this I am truly grateful

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