terça-feira, 17 de julho de 2018

I had to write about Jonestown massacre.

Reading about the Jonestown massacre and the story of Peoples Temples and reflecting on a lot of things. Racism, religion, cultural, political and spiritual appropriation, the middle passage and resistance strategies. Also thinking about white privilege in all its aspects
Until this moment, I heard only few things about Jim Jones and his cult. I was born after 1978 and among few things I remember is a movie that TV Globo showed when I was really young. The movie was translated as the Devil's pastor, and now I know that it was Guyana Tragedy.
I also remember, comedian Chico Anysio and his infamous character Tim Tones, who were a pastor, actually charlatan taking money from his congregation. However, I never knew it was Jim Jones' story that inspired Anysio.
Last week, my mom and I were talking about some bizarre cults and stories, that we show on a Lifetime show, and I don't know why I mentioned Jim Jones. For simple curiosity, I decided to search more information about the story and it caught my attention in an intense way.
I never, in any moment, could think about the racial implications about this tragedy. As I started reading, and researching about the story, it became even more fascinating for me, the reason why this man was so influent in an African American community at the time.
As you probably know at this point, racism in Brazil presents itself different from the U.S and we never experienced legal segregation in the country. So, for us, a white pastor with a large number of Black followers isn't an exception, actually is pretty common.
However, I have been in contact with African American history and culture for a while now and this aspect caught my attention. Even before I read that they were the majority of victims in Jonestown, I made the association only by the fact that Guyana was mentioned
Then, I decided to read about it. I have been reading and reflecting in these past few days. Getting any information, I can. I know it sounds crazy, but I imagine the articles and news I could write about, as a journalist and scholar (of course, I won't)
So, as i think about and read about, I see, not only a necessity of Black people to follow a leader after the Civil Rights movement, but also, a leader who think about the poor and give messages of social justice and integration.
As I read more about the case, scholars who have been writing about it and testimonies of the members, I think about cultural, religious and political appropriation.
Jones offered spirituality, a vital component for Black people, a type of revival that is typical of the Black churches in the U.S and that he as a white man from Indiana in a segregated society certainly didn't experienced. As I thought, he mimics Black leaders who preceded him.
He offered also, a Black cultural environment, with hymns and dance, body expressions, healings and divination, demonstrating an incredible connection with Diaspora cosmologies and religious syncretism.
Then, he offered, a political perspective of transformation, at a moment when liberation projects were becoming more and more intellectualized, he talked about put food on the table. An idea that he copied probably from the BPP and other Black Organizations.
Some scholars even point out to his mention to revolutionary suicide as a kind of distortion of Huey P. Newton words.
Charisma is also an important component o this equation, the populist discourse, the "kissing the poor" act, the protect the elders. Offering basic services that the government didn't care enough to offer.
However, I was still intrigued by the fact that his discourse was focus in integration. Then I research and found about his disagreements with his father, a KKK appreciator. Then, my mind full of conspiracy theories, started thinking: was it on purpose? Did he intend to kill BP?
I first thought I was crazy. But then, I read about his childhood and teenager years as a Hitler admirer, I read about the fact that he probably didn't kill himself and I finally find the complaints about racism inside Peoples Temple, especially once they got to Jonestown
How white people became leaders and Black people were still in the bottom. How, some white people were afraid of Black people even in the communa, and the ice in the cake was his son Stephan, saying that he didn't have any Black woman among his concubines because he was racist.
Thus, my conspiracy thoughts didn't sound that crazy anymore. The idea of a rainbow family, the first white family adopting a a Black child in Indiana, all that, sounded orchestrated to me.
Then I go to the victims of Jonestown Massacre. 80% of Black people, mostly Black women. A large number of infant and teenagers, also a large number of elders. When I think about that, I see how he killed the pillars of our community.
Black women, especially elders, have been a pilar for Black communities during the whole diaspora, several of them raising generations, and generations of Black people. Killing them, he left several unstructured families.
The act of killing the youth first, was also really symbolic. Killing babies, infants and young adults, he didn't leave anyone to start a new generation, he eliminated our possibility of continuity.
Then, I read about the parents who killed their own kids. I create on my mind a connection about the Black women who killed their children during the middle passage, to avoid the upcoming suffering of slavery, and I can create a parallel between these two acts.
Later on, I read other parallels presented by dr. Rebecca Moore about homicide of infants as an act for liberation, but still the middle passage is the most representative for me. Again, we have Black women, killing their kids, to save them from boundaries.
I was impressed, by a Black lady, talking about how Jonestown was better than the U.S., how it was the happiest place in the world.
Then, I think about my recent visit to San Francisco, or the streets of Austin, TX, and even back home, where even our people is a majority we are still living in terrible conditions, then I think that most of us would probably follow a leader who offer us an idea of promise land
in addition, an idea of a white savior, is really attractive for those who have been colonized by white "Christianity" and all its racial implications.
Then, I watched the documentary that brings the stories of women in Jonestown and the importance of the female leaders around Jim Jones. All women in his inner circle were white, including those who orchestrated the massacre.
Even if, Black women were the majority of the victims, and as presented by Sikivu Hutchinson their possessions financed the community, they still didn't have a voice in the place. They were still doing the hard work, they were still blue-collar labors.
Jonestown was promoted as a paradise, but it is perceptible, how structural racism was still part of the local dynamics. As usual, they want our money and our bodies, but don't want to give us any power.
So, thinking about powerless Black women, visualizing their children suffering, or because the threats preached constantly by Jim Jones, or by the fact that he was a threat himself, it is understandable that these Black women committed the same acts of our ancestors
white women in Jonestown were accomplice of Jim Jones, in a really similar way that during the slavery their ancestors were accomplices of slave masters. In both situations, they weren't fragile, and powerless creatures, they were actually an important piece in the structure.
This dynamic of power is also perceived in the documentary itself, where only one Black woman talks.
As I look for more information, I found a dispute, about the memorial they created to honor the victims. One group wanted to include Jones name in the memorial, and the other think it is an outrage.
Among those who decided to put Jim Jones and other leadership name in the memorial, is Rebecca Moore, whose two sisters were leaders in Jonestown and helped to plan the massacre. On the other side, a Black woman, named Jynona Norwood who lost 27 people in the massacre.
Rev.Norwood, compares the inclusion of Jim Jones' name in the memorial to include Hitler's name in victims of the holocaust remembrance.
Again, it is easy to perceive structural racism here, the news and the Jonestown archive at San Diego State University treats Dr. Moore as the renowned scholar, that investigates Jonestown, on the other hand Rev. Norwood is treated as the "crazy" Black woman, a trouble maker
Someone, who creates problems without a reason and who can't even prove all the relatives she claims were really related to her by blood
This fact not only reinforce controlling images of Black women, but also, ignores a tradition of extended families, in African traditions that actually makes very common for Black communities around the world, having relatives who are not related by blood.
In addition, Jim Jones Jr. as a Black man, also stand against Rev. Norwood, defending that his father was a victim of his own madness.
Structural racism was also part of the lack of interest, that took part during the investigations. How does a man remove more than 1000 people from a country and the government doesn't do anything?
They did that, and can do again, because Black bodies don't count as missing, black bodies are constantly disposed.
Among, many things that shocked me, was the fact that he chooses Guyana to construct his community. I thought, about Guyana and their border with Brazil. A country that people mostly don't hear about.
Guyanese people, most of indigenous and African descent, a small country that nobody would care about and he could do whatever he wanted. Then come to my mind, that imperialism is also part of the equation.
I was also terrified by the fact that one of his first missionary trips was to Brazil. I started to imagine, how easier and lethal would be for him, to start a movement like that in Brazil, and affect much more Black people.
As I think, about the importance of spirituality and even structured religion for us as Black, people, I also think, about how our necessity of having leaders doesn't allow us questioning our political and religious leadership.
As I am still reflecting, It is my comprehension that Jim Jones, weren't hunted at first, because he choose a population that didn't matter. He was just using the same strategies, the white supremacy has used over and over again, to eliminate BP.
While for Black believers, Jonestown, became a kind of quilombo, for Jones, it was just a way to manifest his power over people, especially subjugating Black bodies.
In conclusion, if Jonestown were a white community, governmental organizations would take people from there in the next morning after they arrived, but as Black bodies, we are disposable, and nobody cares if we are murdered in mass in the middle of the jungle.

segunda-feira, 2 de abril de 2018

#LuzesparaMarielleeAnderson Austin,TX / #LightsforMarielleandAnderson Austin, TX


Luzes para Marielle e Anderson / Lights for Marielle and Anderson

On March 18 Black Brazilian Activist and Councilwoman Marielle Franco and her Driver Anderson Gomes were assassinated in Rio de Janeiro - Brazil.
Marielle was an activist for Black Rights, for Human Rights, for LGBTQIA rights, the rights of the population living in Favela's communities and against the Black Genocide in Brazil and the Diaspora, Police Brutality, Military Intervention and the occupation of the favelas in Rio.
At this point, the investigation is really slow and the facts show political motivation behind the deaths of Marielle and Anderson. 
Today, at 7pm we are organizing a global event named Lights for Marielle and Anderson.
Whatever you are search for an event or light a light by yourself, record it and post on Social Media with the following hashtags.
Please visit https://www.mariellefranco.com.br/luzes for more information and share this call with your friends

quarta-feira, 10 de janeiro de 2018

Sobre imperialismo negro / About Black imperialism

Eu escrevi esse post no Facebook e achei interessante postar aqui.
Depois vcs acham que eu to de implicância quando falo em imperialismo negro. 
Há uns quatro anos escrevi um texto sobre ser uma mulher negra brasileira vivendo no exterior que foi reproduzido na página do amigo Marques Travae. Desde então eu recebo os comentários que as pessoas fazem sobre meu texto e tem de tudo desde gente achando interessante pq não sabia nada sobre o Brasil, pessoas que discordam e ate homem escroto apoiando turismo sexual.
Ai hj recebi esse aqui. 
No texto o homem tá dizendo que enquanto os negros brasileiros não aprenderem inglês eles serão ignorados e que ninguém sabia que tinha pretos no Brasil até Cidade de Deus.
A segunda parte é uma verdade, afinal nossa mídia é parte importante da imposicao da supremacia branca e quem controla a mídia controla a história que será contada. Portanto nao se enganem com essa ou aquela aparicao na TV: A midia hegemonica brasileira nao nos representa!
Mas quanto a falar inglês vou escurecer algo aqui ao mesmo tempo que traduzo minha resposta pra ele.
Eu amo falar inglês. Quem me conhece sabe que desde criança falar inglês fluente era um dos meus sonhos tanto que enquanto não tinha grana pra fazer um curso me dediquei a estudar sozinha.
Eu não tenho problema que nosso povo aprenda ingles, eu acho o maximo que cada vez mais pretos no Brasil aprendam nao so ingles, mas varios outros idiomas porque isso abre muitas portas, pra conhecer novas culturas, novos povos, novos rostos e novas historias. O mundo e muito maior que nosso bairro e o trajeto de duas ou tres horas que a gente faz pra ir de casa pro trabalho. 
Agora o que pega pra mim e a obrigacao. A obrigacao em aprendermos o idioma. Primeiro nos sabemos que no Brasil cada obrigacao que o sistema nos impoe e na verdade uma barreira pra que a maioria dos negros tenha acesso a outras etapas. Entao se nao tem faculdade nao consegue, se nao tem ingles nao consegue, como se seu valor fosse medido nisso e ai quando a gente atinge essa meta eles dobram a meta (piadinha) e pedem pos, espanhol, alemao, mandarim, pra que a gente sempre esteja um passo atras. Mas essa e outra historia. Mas ainda assim eu quero que muitos pretos no Brasil falem inglês. 
Mas o que me incomoda nessa frase do fulano que eu nao sei o nome. E que e uma via de mao unica e faz com que ele e varios outros fiquem felizes em suas zonas de conforto. Voce nao ouve ninguem falando, ah eu preciso aprender portugues, espanhol, frances pra me comunicar com outros povos, nao e sempre voces tem que falar ingles. 
Sempre venha a nos e vosso reino nada. Nao tem ponte, nao tem troca e apenas uso.
E e esse uso que me incomoda. Aqui na academia dos EUA tem muitos negros estudando sobre o povo negro no Brasil. Muitos sao respeitosos e criam conexoes verdadeiras, mas infelizmente uma grande parte ainda nos ve como objetos, nos olha como o outro e se ressente com os poucos de nos que estao aqui tentando contar a propria historia. Por que eles nao estudam as proprias comunidades? Por que eu nao posso vir do Brasil e estudar a comunidade deles? Porque a gente so estuda o outro, o que e objeto e nao sujeito. Eles reproduzem o imperialismo da academia branca em seus discursos e acoes. 
E isso vai pra alem da academia, vai pro turista, pra pessoa que decide morar no pais, ganhar dinheiro, mas nao respeita o povo e as particularidades do local e isso ta cheio. Afinal nos temos acompanhado a historia da pessoa que chegou de fora e acredita realmente que pode ensinar ao negro brasileiro como lutar contra o racismo ne?
Volto a ressaltar as excecoes de amigos que tem respeito por nos como povo e que chegam no sapatinho, na contencao, tentando dar da mesma forma que recebe, mas infelizmente nao e a maioria.
Muitas vezes a gente ate se surpreende porque algumas pessoas ate querem criar conexoes, mas em um momento deixam transparecer o imperialismo no discurso e acho que varios deles nem se dao conta. Meu bate boca de ontem foi com um mano, que mora em Sao Paulo, trabalha ai, e amigo da negrada ta direto no role, mas falou que brasileiros sao atrasados por nao falarem ingles e que me criticou quando eu disse que aqui ninguem sabe nada sobre nos que ainda acham que a gente fala espanhol e que a capital do Brasil e Buenos Aires. 
Minha resposta para o rapaz de hoje foi que se ele acha que 100 milhoes de negros brasileiros que nao falam ingles serao ignorados ate que aprendam, serao ignorados tambem 50 milhoes de negros na Am. Latina como um todo que falam espanhol, mais todos os negros dos paises Caribenhos que falam frances, mais os africanos de paises cujo frances ou arabe e a primeira lingua e principalmente aqueles que so falam sua lingua local, porque afinal ingles por mais que seja uma lingua global, nao se tornou o unico idioma falado no mundo.
Em outras palavras o que esta implicito na fala dessa pessoa e de muitos outros e que ou o mundo negro chega ate ele ou ele nao vai nem se esforcar, usar sei la o google translator pra se conectar conosco e ai esta o meu incomodo.
Entao que me desculpem os amigos negros estrangeiros que nao sao imperialistas, mas vou falar que enquanto mais de voces nao estiverem dispostos a andar metade do caminho pra encontrar conosco, vai ficar muito dificil mesmo criar essas pontes.

P.S. Eu decidi nao traduzir esse post para o ingles propositalmente. 

terça-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2017

Meghan Markle é negra? - Entrevista para o site M de Mulher / Is Meghan Markle black? - Interview to M de Mulher website

Dei uma entrevista para o site M de Mulher falando sobre pensamento racial no Brasil e nos EUA, colorismo e a sobre a negritude de Meghan Markle.
Confira aqui na integra


I gave an interview to M de Mulher about racial relations in Brazil and the U.S, colorism and Meghan Markle's Blackness. Check an English version here.

domingo, 18 de junho de 2017

“Todo mundo sabe que amamos Tupac” / “Everybody knows we love Tupac” *

Acabei de chegar do cinema e eu tive que escrever esse post antes de ir dormir, porque não ia me aguentar. Hoje criei coragem, marquei um encontro comigo mesma e fui assistir All Eyez on me.

Queria ter tido um zilhão de pessoas lá comigo, mas como não tinha, fui sozinha, me controlando pra não cutucar o moço do lado e fazer meus comentários.

Confesso que eu fui pro cinema esperando o pior, não achei que fosse ser um bom filme, achei que ia escrever uma única linha falando pra vcs economizar a grana e assistir online, até porque as críticas são bem ruins por aqui, mas não.
Na verdade o filme me surpreendeu.

Vou tentar não fazer nenhum spoiler, mas vou partilhar alguns sentimentos que o filme me trouxe.
Primeiro o filme reforçou um sentimento que já havia sido despertado em mim quando escrevi minha dissertação de mestrado que é o fato de que as mortes de Big e Tupac são um símbolo do genocídio da juventude negra, o quanto eles nos matam em nossas fases mais produtivas e que quanto mais longe a gente chega mais a gente incomoda.

O filme me lembra também que um MC como Tupac não se faz sozinho. Enquanto tem vários rimadores de meia tigela por aí se achando a ultima bolacha do pacote, o cara só era um dos melhores, se não o melhor rapper de todos os tempos, porque ele teve uma base, sua mãe como pantera negra, lhe ensinou o que era resistência, lhe ensinou a lutar contra o sistema e a reconhecer as ferramentas do sistema. O cara lia jornal desde criança, o cara lia os clássicos, o cara foi fazer teatro, o cara era versátil, não era quadrado. Ele teve uma formação. Era por essas e outras que ele não rimava coração com mão.

Assim como muitos MCs depois dele e muitos de nós que de alguma forma temos visibilidade, Tupac não se via como líder, não queria ser líder e precisou ser lembrado do quão poderoso era o microfone em sua mão. O quanto as ideias propagadas eram muito mais letais do que qualquer arma que ele pudesse carregar e que ele seria uma referência e uma liderança ainda que essa não fosse sua intenção.

O filme me fez pensar também, que mesmo aqueles de nós que já reconhecem as ferramentas do sistema e desenvolvem estratégias pra lutar contra elas, ainda podem se deixar envolver e abater pelas mesmas. Afeni Shakur, se rendendo ao vício e Tupac sendo preso são demonstrações claras disso.

Me faz pensar também na arrogância da juventude, no quanto a gente acha que sabe de tudo, que tem que falar tudo. Mas aí eu lembro que ele tinha só 25 anos e que um jovem de 25 anos conquistou o mundo com sua música e atitude.

No mais a semelhança entre o ator Demetrius Shipp Jr. e Tupac no filme faz com que a gente tenha a sensação de ver Tupac de novo, de que esses 20 anos não se passaram. Me senti em uma versão full screen do Coachella.

O filme me levou a outro tempo, outro lugar, me fez lembrar dos papos sentada na calçada, ouvindo suas musicas e duvidando se ele havia mesmo morrido.

Também não pude deixar de comparar Tupac com Mano Brown, claro que cada um tem seu flow, mas as ideias fortes, o carisma com o público, até mesmo alguns aspectos da história de vida, me fazem ver semelhanças entre os dois.

Achei o filme bom, foi poético, foi intenso assim como Tupac. O tipo de filme que deixa a gente triste, mesmo a gente já sabendo o final. Mas o mais lindo, foi ouvir os irmãos e irmãs no fundo do cinema gritando: isso mesmo, prega mesmo, a cada palavra de resistência que era dita ali.

*O titulo desse post foi retirado de um trecho da música Foi num baile Black de Mano Brown

I just arrived from the movie theater and I had to write this post before I go to bed. I wouldn’t be able to handle myself until tomorrow. So, today, I was brave enough to have a date with myself and decided to go watch All Eyez on me.  I wished I could have several people by my side, but I didn’t have so I went alone, and had to control myself and not poke the guy that was in the next seat to tell him my comments.

I confess that I went to the movies waiting for a terrible movie. I thought I would write one line, telling you guys to save some money and wait to see it on Redbox, especially after I read some bad reviews.
But actually the movie surprised me.

I will try not to post any spoiler here, but I am going to share some of my feelings regarding this movie.

First of all, the movie reinforced a feeling that I carry with me since I wrote my Master’s thesis that Tupac and Big’s deaths are a symbol of the Black genocide, and how they kill us in our more productive age and that how far we go, more we bother them.

The movie also shows that a MC like Tupac doesn’t rely only in his own talent. Considering that nowadays several mediocre MCs think they are the best on it, Tupac only was one of the best, if not the best rapper of all time because he had a foundation. His mother, as a Black Panther taught him, what resistance was, she taught him how to fight against the system and to recognize the tools of the system. The guy used to read the newspaper, the guys used to read the classics, the guy went to study theatre, the guy was versatile, and he was not limited. He had a formation. Those are some of the reasons why he used to rock with his rhymes.

Like many other Mcs after him, and in a certain way many of us who have any kind of visibility, Tupac didn’t see himself as a leader, he didn’t want to be a leader and had to be reminded how powerful the mic in his hands was. How the ideas propagated were more lethal than any other weapon that he could carry and that he was a reference and a leadership even it was not his intention.

The movie also made me think, that even those who know the tools of the system and develop strategies to fight against them, still can be involved and shot by them.  Afeni Shakur with her addiction and Tupac being arrested are demonstrations of this.

It make me think in youth arrogance, in how, when we are young, we think we know everything and we can say everything we want. But then, I remember that he was only 25 and that a 25 years old Black man was able to conquer the world with his music and attitude.

Furthermore, the similarity between Demetrius Shipp Jr, the actor who plays Tupac and Pac himself
make us feel as if we were saying Tupac alive again, as if these 20 years were not gone. I felt as if I were in a full screen version of Coachella.

The movie also took me to other time and place and reminded me of the talks that I had with friends seated in the sidewalk and listening to his songs and guessing if he was really dead.

I also could not stop myself from comparing Tupac with Brazilian rapper Mano Brown, of course each of them has his own flow, but the strong ideas, the charisma with the audience, and even some aspects of their personal life, make me thing about similarities between them.

I thought the movie was good, poetic and intense as Tupac used to be. The same kind of movie that let us sad in the end, even we previously knew what would happen. But the most beautiful thing was to hear the brothers and sisters in the back of the movie theater yelling: “preach bro, yeah preach” after every word of resistance that was said there.

*This post’s title is an excerpt of Mano Brown’ song Foi num baile Black

segunda-feira, 5 de junho de 2017

O preço da Cura / The price of Healing

O preço da Cura
Por: Daniela Gomes e Coletivo Dada Mkutano (esse é um texto escrito a 10 mãos)

É interessante como por mais que a gente post coisas nas redes sobre tudo e mais um pouco, tem alguns temas que pra gente são tão dolorosos que a gente evita falar.  Eu tenho alguns temas que pra mim são assim um pouco mais espinhosos e esse é um deles.

Uma vez ouvi uma pessoa dizer que a mulher negra tem o poder de curar sua comunidade, pois é ela quem dá a luz. Na hora, achei tão lindo pensar no poder da criação e no processo de reprodução como capaz de gerar cura. Naquele momento, a beleza de pensar o meu ventre como um local de inicio para algo tão poderoso realmente me encantou, principalmente porque quem disse isso foi uma mulher negra. 

Minha admiração por essa fala não acabou, mas ao mesmo tempo, venho pensando na responsabilidade que ela coloca nos nossos ombros e nas coisas que a comunidade cobra de nós por conta disso.  E me pergunto: qual é o preço da cura?

De acordo com essa fala, que está correta, o processo curativo ocorre porque mulheres negras são responsáveis, por gerar, criar, suprir, cuidar, zelar, amar e com isso geram uma corrente de coisas positivas que vai se disseminando por toda a comunidade. Isso é ótimo e tem tudo pra dar certo se for colocado em prática.

O problema é que por conta própria algumas pessoas acham que isso significa que nós mulheres negras somos única e exclusivamente as responsáveis por isso e que além de tudo que já foi mencionado também temos que consertar o emocional alheio e ainda carregar as pessoas nas costas. 

E assim em nome da preservação e da cura da nossa comunidade a afropilantragem vai se perpetuando e se multiplicando a cada dia, ainda que essa não tenha sido a ideia original desse conceito.

Nós passamos perrengues, nossos emocionais ficam fragilizados, sofremos em relacionamentos abusivos tudo para preservar a comunidade, para não expor o outro, dentro e fora da militância, mas poucas pessoas fazem o mesmo por nós. E esse tipo de violência e reprodução ultrapassa fronteiras e se reproduz em todos os lugares.

Exemplo claro pra mim dessa ideia, de passar por cima de nossas dores para “curar” a comunidade, ainda é o caso de Anita Hill e Clarence Thomas. Anita Hill era uma advogada afro-americana que foi assediada sexualmente quando trabalhava como secretária de Clarence Thomas. Anos depois, quando Clarence Thomas foi indicado a Suprema Corte, Anita se levantou para dizer que esse homem não era digno de ser o primeiro negro na Suprema Corte, pois ele era um predador. Anita foi massacrada por diversas pessoas na comunidade negra que acharam que ela deveria ter passado por cima de seu sofrimento, para que um negro pudesse finalmente chegar a suprema corte americana. Em outras palavras, para que ele não fosse exposto Anita deveria ser sacrificada. 

Anita é só uma mulher negra que passa por isso e não dá pra achar que isso só acontece nos EUA. Na militância brasileira tá cheio deles. Pagam de pilares da comunidade, símbolos da resistência, mas no fundo são vasos podres que estão destruindo mulheres e crianças. 

Lembro que em cada um dos nossos encontros do Dada Mkutano, havia uma quantidade de mulheres sofridas, chorando e usando o espaço para partilhar o mesmo tipo de dor, de abuso. Mulheres dos 15 aos 60 narrando exatamente as mesmas coisas.

Os exemplos são muitos, desde homens que abusam física e emocionalmente de mulheres, fazem filhos com várias, não assumem nenhum, não dão seu nome para as crias e quando são cobrados, exigem que as mulheres paguem o teste de DNA e ameaçam um processo na justiça. Outros que até assumem os filhos, mas na hora de sustentar pulam fora, jogam tudo nas costas da mulher e que exigem ainda que ela o sustente, mas que posta foto sorridente no FB posando de pai do ano e conta até história de abuso emocional que sofreu invertendo assim o jogo. Outros que espancam suas companheiras e depois as culpam pelo fim do casamento, outros e outros e outros...

E assim eles seguem, de textão em textão, fingindo na rede que tem caráter, vendendo seus produtinhos, escrevendo poesia revolucionária e sendo gurus de um monte de gente, citados e aplaudidos pra baixo e pra cima por gente que acredita em tudo que vê na internet.

Enquanto isso, nós mulheres seguimos sozinhas, apesar de toda dor, de todo trauma, para assim gerar a tal cura da comunidade. 

E para preservar a comunidade, nós continuamos sem narrar essas histórias, sem mencionar seus nomes, pra não expor o homem negro, para não lavar roupa suja fora de casa, pra não destruir nossa comunidade enfim, pra ajuda-los em seu processo de cura.

Mas minha dúvida é quem se preocupa com a nossa cura? Quem está preocupado ou fazendo algo por nós quando esse abuso psicológico nos mata aos poucos, nos traz depressão, câncer e tantas outras mazelas físicas e emocionais?  Eu só vejo as mulheres fazendo isso. Vejo mulheres se reunindo em praças, parques, fazendo terapia, meditando, fazendo yoga, procurando melhorar sua espiritualidade, enfim fazendo de tudo pra quebrar o ciclo, mas nesse processo nós estamos sempre sozinhas e todos exigem de nós a mesma coisa: o silêncio.

E as consequências de não falarmos disso, não atinge apenas a nós e as crianças negligenciadas, mas também atinge outras mulheres que serão novas vítimas.  Porque, por não falarmos nisso, esses homens não apenas saem impunes, como reproduzem seus atos, de novo e de novo, o tempo todo.  

As mulheres que os conhecem não sabem do seu histórico de opressão e violência e compram o discurso do homem que foi injustiçado pela mulher louca. Isso acontece com várias de nós, já aconteceu comigo também. Eu pouco falo sobre minha vida sentimental, mas não tenho como me colocar fora disso. Por conta de toda baixa estima que o racismo nos traz, também já tive minha parcela de relacionamentos abusivos. 

No meu último relacionamento, fui traída de uma forma extremamente cruel.  Um dia conversando com meu então namorado, perguntei de sua ex e ele me disse que sua ex o odiava, quando eu perguntei o porquê, ele disse que era coisa do mundo ocidental, que ele como homem africano não compreendia. Na hora eu não pesquei essa frase, estava apaixonada, hoje apesar de não me culpar pela falta de caráter dele, penso que a dica estava aí, afinal se a ex o odiava, alguma razão ela deveria ter, pois ódio é uma palavra muito forte para ser usada banalmente. O que eu sei hoje é que eu gostaria de ter tido a chance de saber quem ele era.  Muitas de nós gostariam. 

Então que nós possamos quebrar a cultura do silêncio. Que se acabe a cultura do passar pano, do abafa o caso. E que falemos sobre isso.

Que nós possamos sim gerar a vida e gerar a cura, mas chega de carregarmos todo o sofrimento do mundo em nossas costas. O crescimento da nossa comunidade deve ser preservado sim, mas o preço da cura não pode ser as nossas lágrimas, os nossos corpos, as nossas dores e a nossa morte. 

The price of healing
By: Daniela Gomes and Dada Mkutano Collective (this text was written by 5 women)

It is really interesting to me that even we are creating posts about everything in social media there are some subjects that are so painful that we avoid talking about them. I have some subjects that are hard to deal with and this is one of them.

One day I heard someone saying that a Black woman has the power to heal the community, because she is the one who gives birth. At that moment, I thought it was so beautiful, because I thought about the power of the creation and the process of reproduction that is able to generate healing. At that moment, the beauty of thinking on my belly as a place that would start something so powerful really enchanted me, especially because it was a Black woman who said it.

My admiration for this thought didn’t finish, but at the same time, I have been thinking about the responsibility that it put in our shoulders and the things that the community asks from us because of it. So I wonder: what is the price of healing?

According to this talk, which is correct by the way, the healing process would happen because Black women are responsible for generate, create, feed, caring, to watch over and love and that would generate a chain of positive things that will be disseminated in the whole community. This is awesome and can work if it was put in practice.

The issue here is that some people decided to think that it means that we as Black women are the only responsible for this healing and that in addition to everything that I already mentioned here, we also have to fix other people’s emotions and carry  people in our shoulders.
In this way, although it was not the original intent of this concept, in a claim for the preservation and healing of our community the afro naughtiness keeps perpetuating and multiplying every day.

We face a lot of trouble, our emotions get broken, we suffer in abusive relationships and we do all this to preserve our community, so we don’t expose the other, inside and outside the activism, but feel people do the same for us. This type of violence and reproduction overpass boarders and are reproduced everywhere in the Diaspora.

In my opinion, a clear example of this idea of pass over our pain to “heal” the community is Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas case. You all know how Anita was harassed by Clarence while she was working for him and how she stood up against his nomination to the Supreme Court because he was a predator. You probably knows how she was massacred by part of the community who thought she should be quiet about it, and pass over her suffering so a Black man could be in the Supreme Court.
In other words, to not let him exposed, Anita should be sacrificed.

Anita is just one Black woman who faced something like that and we can’t think that it happens in the U.S. Actually in Brazilian activism we have several of them. They pretend they are pillars of our community, symbols of resistance, but when we go deeper they are rotten people who are destroying the lives of Black women and children.

I remember that in each of Dada Mkutano meetings (Dada Mkutano is a Black women meeting that I coordinate with more four friends, where we do picnics to talk about our lives and try to heal) there was a huge number of women who were suffering, crying and using that space to share the same kind of pain and abuse. Women from 15 to 60  years old narrating exactly the same things.

There are a lot of examples, since men who physically and emotionally abused of the women, to those who have children with several of them without recognize any of the kids, don’t give their name to the children and when they are charged they request women to pay the DNA test and threat them saying they are going to sue them. Others who assume their children, but don’t pay child support, leaving all the responsibilities in the women shoulders and demand her to give financial support to him as well;  but that on FB post pics smiling and posing as father of the year, even telling stories of how the woman would be the abuser, trying to revert the game. Other are beating their wives up and blaming them when the marriage is over, and there are others, and others, and others…

Then they follow, being lengthy on FB, pretending on social media that they have character, selling their products, writing revolutionary poetry and being gurus of a lot of people, who quote them and keep applauding them, because some people believe in everything they see on social media.

Meanwhile, we as Black women keep follow alone, even we have to deal with the pain, the trauma so we can generate the mentioned healing of the community.

So to preserve our community, we keep those stories for ourselves, without mentioning their names, so we don’t expose Black men, so we don’t show our dirty laundry, so we don’t destroy our community and we help them in their healing process.

But my doubt is who is worry about our healing? Who is getting worried or doing something for us, while this emotional harassment keep killing us day after day, because it brings us depression, cancer and so many other physical and emotional diseases. I only see women doing that. I see Black women getting together in squares, parks, going to counseling, meditating, doing yoga, searching to improve their spirituality, finally doing everything to break the cycle. However, in this process we are always alone and people are demanding the same thing from us: silence.

The consequences of not talking about this come not only for us, and our children who are neglected  but it also reach other women who will be new victims. Because when we don’t talk about this, these same men will leave without consequences, and will be reproducing their evil acts again and again the whole time.

Women who meet them after us don’t know anything about their historic of oppression and violence and buy the discourse of the man who was treated unfairly by a crazy Black woman. This has been happening with many of us. Me included. I don’t really like to talk about my personal life, but I can’t leave myself out of it. Because of the low self-esteem that racism bring to us, I also had my own parcel of abusive relationships.

In my last relationship, I was cheated in a really cruel way. One day, talking with my then boyfriend, I asked about his ex and he told me she hated him,  when I asked why, he told me that this was a western thing that as an African man he couldn’t understand. At that time I was so in love that this sentence went unnoticed, but today, although I stopped blaming myself by his lack of character, I think the tip was right there in front of me, because if his ex-girlfriend hated him, she probably had good reasons for that, because hate is a strong word to being used in a banal way.

I wish I had the chance to know who he really was. Many of us wish that. So, I claim for us to break the culture of silence. That this culture can end and we don’t cover for them anymore.
That we can of course generate life and healing, but we don’t have to carry the whole pain of the world in our back. The growth of our community must be preserved, but our tears, bodies, pain and death can’t be the price of healing.