A few days ago, I was on the Long Island Sound. Suddenly, the sky shifted, and I saw the sunset reflected on the new World Trade Center, a burst of light in these days of so much destruction, a reminder of time passed. It felt like an offering.
To those we lost that day, I will try to honor you by living life in appreciation for all its glory, in reverent love and overflowing gratitude for all that it is, whatever it is.
To all the babies on that day who are now full grown, I am holding special space for you.
To all the first responders, fire fighters, police officers, EMTs, everyone who was there fighting and helping, I honor you.
To the loved ones whose hearts woke in fresh grief this morning, I send all my sympathy.
To New York, who is going through another hard time, I love you.
We can never forget.
It is always a deeply felt loss when a young King passes: it is an even deeper cut when you know the man to have been a king with or without a crown.
There is so much to mourn here...
My thoughts, prayers, strength and love are with those who knew and loved Chadwick, and with all the young Kings and Queens who have been sparked by his light and excellence.
Rest in Power, Mr. Boseman. Thank you for leaving this world better than you found it.
Last week I saw a video of a grizzly bear swimming in the most gorgeous lake you can imagine: sounds lovely, right? Nope. The bear had a plastic tub stuck on it’s head that was slowly filling with water the harder the bear swam (and the bear was swimming pretty hard because wtf.)
That the tub got pulled off the bear’s head by the end of the video does not make it a happy ending: that it even happened in the first place is pure trash.
When I saw the video, I flashed back to my last talk with @aarynnlang during the take over week - Aaryn said we can’t be right with each other unless we are right with the planet. She’s right (of course.) If we dehumanize each other, hurt, abuse, and oppress each other, why wouldn’t we do the same to the living world? Why wouldn’t we act with the same complacency, neglect, greed, domination, carelessness, and desecration?
I was so angry when I saw that video and I needed to do something to move that energy. I want to thank @browngirl_green for allowing me to amplify a post of hers so I could transform my helpless infuriation into even the smallest positive action.
Thank you so much to the team that created this post, Kristy (@browngirl_green), @usman.fahimullah, and @rileyebel, and to these inspiring environmentalists walking the walk, @queerbrownvegan, @zerowastehabesha, @oldworldnew, @livelikeyougreenit, @cerowastecindy, @iquitwaste, @plasticfreeto, and @jenriverabell.
I’m not an Avenger, but I know a superhero when I see one. I can only hope I’m half as brave in my life as you are in yours, Bridger. Wishing you an easeful recovery, and many cool looking rocks.
Hey @markruffalo, do you need a teammate??
Via @blackculturenews_ & @nicolenoelwalker
That was easily my favorite week ever on Instagram.
Thank you again, Miss Lang (@aarynnlang), for giving me another chance to get it right, and for blessing us with your truth, wit, frankness, and flat out brilliance. Looking forward to making this space worthy of it.
Since so many of you asked “Where’s Anne?” during the past week, here’s where I’m at:
I wear a face mask because I care about others.
The vision of Black Trans people is critical to the liberation of this world.
Love is love.
Neither the human body nor the human experience come standard.
None of those statements are controversial, so if you felt uncomfortable, challenged, offended, queasy-hot, tense or shut down while reading them, then this probably isn’t the right place for you. Or actually, it’s probably exactly the right place for you, but it’s your life.
Anyway, back to Miss Lang and what she taught us: what moved you/surprised you the most during the past week?
Before I let go, I want to introduce to you the reason you all have been introduced to me in the first place. In 2016, I worked with Hope Dector and @lewispants in partnership with the Barnard Center for Research on Women and Project NIA to create ‘Don’t Be A Bystander” in preparation for the uptick in hate motivated violence related to the 2016 election.
Project NIA is a grassroots organization that works to end the arrest, detention, and incarceration of children and young adults by promoting restorative justice practices, and is founded and directed by community organizer, educator, and curator Mariame Kaba.
Mariame’s work focuses on ending violence, dismantling the prison industrial complex, transforming justice, and supporting youth leadership development. Mariame has also co-founded other organizations, including the Chicago Freedom School, the Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Girls and Young Women, the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander, and the Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team.
Mariame is an acknowledged expert on the topic of youth incarceration, with recent appearances on NBC News, the Guardian, and Vice. She is also available to consult or facilitate workshops on topics such as juvenile justice, youth leadership development, the prison industrial complex, curriculum development and evaluation, and research support. Mariame has received numerous honors and awards (mariamekaba.com/honors) for her work over the years, including the 2019 Morton Deutsch Award for Social Justice, the 2019 Visionary Voice Award, and the Essence Magazine 2018 #Woke100.
Mariame is currently a researcher in residence on race, gender, sexuality, and criminalization at the Social Justice Institute of the Barnard Center for Research on Women. After more than 20 years of living and organizing in Chicago, she moved back to her hometown of New York City in 2016.
Here is Mariame Kaba in her own words, and check the link in bio on more ways to engage her work.
Toodles! - @aarynnlang
If you only knew the year I had before this experience, if you only knew the heartache I held and nursed like my own child, if you only knew the loneliness and pain that I’ve had to stand in to be here today you would be as in awe as I am now. I truly believe in the power of transformation like never before.
We do not have to be bound to that which has sought to end us, we can make a different decision every single time. We have so much more power than the state would ever allow us to understand. It’s why they keep us angry, they keep us hungry, and they keep us blind to the ways that this way of life has only served their power and not the power of the people.
I’m no fool, and won’t take my Instagram posts as earth-bending or shattering, but understanding that I have the power to influence people to action is something I shall never take lightly again. My request? Is that you never question your power again either. Know that where you sit, stand, or lie is the power of a force so much greater than oppression would ever let you allow yourself to know. Do not be tricked into being an accomplice against yourself, against this earth. MAKE A DECISION TO CHANGE THE WORLD TODAY.
Do not join this fight to save me, join this fight to save yourself. There are many ways to die and turning a blind eye to the church of what’s happening now will surely kill your soul. There is so much beauty to behold in this world, don’t you think we all deserve? Let’s prove it. Let’s be so intolerant of hate, violence, and oppression that they decide to retire. Let’s be so bold in our convictions that we don’t even need to think before we stand up for our own.
We have so much to learn from those who have taken to the streets in protest, of those who are willing to risk their lives to usher in a world they may never see. Be like the protesters, be like the trouble makers, never shut up about justice, never shut up about love.
Thank you for restoring my dedication to humanity. Thank you for reminding me of my power. I am Aaryn Lang, signing out! Until next time. #blackpower #misslangpresents