The following piece was written by a comrade in Philadelphia.
by Iresha Picot
I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name
My name is my own my own my own
and I can’t tell you who the hell set things up like this
but I can tell you that from now on my resistance
my simple and daily and nightly self-determination
may very well cost you your life
--June Jordan (“Poem about My Rights”)
I fight on a multitude of platforms. I fight against this rotten system, that’s fucking up people’s basic necessities to live. I push back against this prison system that believes in imprisoning African life while capitalizing off of these same black bodies for means of production through a corrupted prison industrial complex. I fight for the liberation of our political prisoners, the best of our warriors for their freedom. I fight to see the African working class mobilize themselves into the vanguards that we are. Everyday I am fighting this beast of imperialism and White domination. Yet when I tell people that I am a Black Feminist, they seem to forget about all the fighting that I do.
“I hold Queen Mother Moore’s guns, breathe in Sojourner’s resilience, birth beautiful black babies like Betty, because I am a Black Feminist”
I became one, although unconscious of it at the time, in my sophomore year in college. My teacher wrote “Patriarchy” on the board and I had no idea as to what the term meant. I thought I was pretty well read up until that point (“thought” being the operative word). I came to college armored with books written by George Jackson, Malcolm X, Na’im Akbar, and Chancellor Williams. I had even read various texts by female freedom fighters such as Sister Souljah, Assata Shakur, and Shahrazad Ali. None of them (Assata gave a foundation) ever told me that my struggle for the struggle was another struggle in itself. Meaning, while I was viciously attacking racism/colonialism as a student activist, none of my (s)heroes gave name to the suppression of my womanly being. My gender.
After that class, I started to read more by Black Women writers/feminists. I read the works of Black Women who told me that everything about being a Black Woman is “good”. Its divine and its definitely supreme as any man. I was unearthing a lineage of history that I had never heard of before. Understanding that the oppression of Black Women is multiplicative—race, class, gender, and even for some sexuality. I was definitely at my own center. I was growing flowers out my mind, from Alice Walker’s garden. Reaching across tables for other Sistas hands, that Barbara Smith created and yes, I was standing tall and high on platforms that Audre Lorde built. Listening, for the first time to my suppressed voice that had been on mute for so long, that the sound of it, even scared me a little. I was now looking into mirrors that not only reflected a beautiful Blackness but rather an exquisite Black Woman. I was honoring my experiences and telling my stories. I had become a Black Feminist.