The hard truth, that I learned with ABL, I am working with:
“This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both- Paulo Freire”
Now take allllll of that in…………Ill wait…………………………………
While I understand that the liberation of ALL is a personal task, I am beginning to understand my POWER of influence. This power I speak of has been both socially given & taken, and grown within. The intersections of my identity provide me with a unique outlook. As a queer woman of color in I navigate through a patriarchal, heteronormative, white and gender rigid society that THINKS its power is found in my inferiority. As an fair complexion intergenerational multiracial femme presenting woman with her masters degree in Education, I have ASSUMED power. I am assumed to be smarter, able, prettier, better and this list can go on.
These intersections provide me a critical view of society both as privileged and marginalized. Now please be clear, it is the responsibility of those who have ASSUMED power to be aware of themselves to work WITH oppressed communities. As Lila Watson, Aboriginal activist, says “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
This all boils down to one important truth the social ills of the world presses down on ALL of us and damages our ability to see our mutual humanity. We must release ourselves from systems that enable us to be blind to the humanity of EVERYONE. This is my human task. Those of us that chill on the borders have the power. We have the most honest power because it is rooted within. This is my lifework. I address it everyday as an artist, educator, daughter, sister, friend and partner.
I am invested in the transformation of power not is transaction. I challenge my ideas of what I have been socialized to understand power as. I wish not to oppress, suppress, repress my being onto anyone because I know to well what that PRESSING does to the soul.
My power is rooted in ME.
Where is your power rooted?