Shifting the Future of Reproductive Justice

Something revolutionary is happening in Providence and black women, indigenous women, women of color and trans people are at the center of it, where we belong.  

On March 9th, a large group of people from all backgrounds came together at First Unitarian Church of Providence on a Friday night.  They came not to worship, but to listen and learn about this thing called reproductive justice or RJ for short, as told by the leader of SisterSong, Monica Simpson.

Monica is a lovely, welcoming, queer black woman who sung her way into my heart the moment she opened what I thought would be a lecture, but ended up being a come-to-Jesus epiphanic moment, with a song that gave me chills.  From there, Monica launched into her stories and how important it is for us all to acknowledge that every one of us has a story to tell and experiences that have shaped who and what we are. The mission of SisterSong is to connect the dots for people on how and why we must dismantle white supremacy in order for all people to be able to live our best lives using intersectional black feminism and reproductive justice as the lens.

So what is Reproductive Justice?

‚ÄúSisterSong defines Reproductive Justice as the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.‚ÄĚ We live multi-issue lives, so the fight for reproductive rights can not and should not stop at abortion rights. ¬†As black, brown, indigenous and trans folx, just by living in our bodies we face different challenges and are afforded or shut out of different opportunities. We left Friday night activated and ready to take a deeper dive into how to utilize this new understanding in our activism and advocacy work.

On Saturday morning, a smaller group of fifty made up of Leaders of Color and Allies in Solidarity Organizing reconvened for an all-day training, Reproductive Justice 101, with Monica Simpsonfacilitating again.  RJ has been developed from the works of black feminists past and present from Loretta Ross, Audre Lorde and the Combahee River Collective to Kimberle Crenshaw. For all the newfound focus on intersectionality or intersectional feminism,  we so often get it wrong. It has been co-opted into a catch-all phrase akin to inclusion or diversity. We forget the term was coined by a black feminist, Kimberle Crenshaw, to address the levels of oppression that are distinct to black women for being both black and women.  Watch her amazing TedTalk here:

Understanding reproductive justice was a game changer for so many of us who attended. RJ, allows for those intersecting identities and human rights to be acknowledged and fought for in a holistic way.  Through a reproductive justice lens, we are able to make the connections necessary to advocate for all people, especially the most marginalized by the systems of cis-hetero normative white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism.  Radical relationships must be cultivated between people of color and white allies in solidarity organizing. However, the most marginalized shall lead, which means people will be called in to check their privilege and continually center black and indigenous and trans people.  Those who have levels of privilege that blind them to the struggles of others, should not and will not lead the way for long lasting change to free us all. Understanding white supremacy and power dynamics is key in this work and everyone will be called to shift and dismantle them both.

We all have the inalienable¬†human right¬†to freedom and control over our own bodies. ¬†This means it is our human right to decide for ourselves¬†if or when¬†we choose to become parents. ¬†¬†If we are parents, it is our human right to parent our children as we wish and be free from the oppressive conditions that white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism foster that endanger black and brown children daily. ¬†Reproductive rights, historically, have focused on the cis-hetero white women‚Äôs right to choose and have a safe abortion. Reproductive Justice incorporates that fight but opens it up and exposes all the ways that black and indigenous people have had to ¬†fight for bodily autonomy against a government that seeks to deny people of color access to their rights. Unequal access to equitable employment and wages means too many women lack the funds necessary to obtain, and often travel for, an abortion. The ‚Äúchoice‚ÄĚ promised by¬†Roe v Wade¬†is no choice at all for the most marginalized women.

Freedom from Violence

is

Reproductive Justice

Freedom from all forms of violence and oppression are encompassed in the fight for reproductive justice. Freedom from domestic violence, economic violence, racial violence, environmental racism and violence, gun violence, and state sanctioned police violence are all fundamental human rights that reproductive justice extends to include.  Two days with Monica Simpson, SisterSong and reproductive justice had the attendees ready to integrate RJ into our work and recognize how present it already is in our daily lives. So what’s next?

Next Steps

As we went around the room, we shared what came up for us in this transformative experience.   We made commitments to ourselves and each other to bring RJ into our activism, our advocacy work and into our  respective communities. We acknowledged that we are in a moment of shifting culture and that we can play a role in making that shift focus on those of us with the least access and privilege.  We pledged to seek out and cultivate radical relationships that centered the most marginalized. We exchanged cards and phone numbers. We talked about the future we were living into and creating together.  This future is black and brown and indigenous and trans and gender non-conforming. This future is intersectional and uplifts the voices and experiences of the most marginalized. This future is free of violence and grounded in reproductive justice and human rights, for all.


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KILLING GEORGINA IS CREATING POETRY AND PROSE TO HEAL AND ACHIEVE METAPHYSICAL LIBERATION.

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PushBlack Takes You to School…

from your Messenger app.  Opera Snapshot_2018-03-20_112022_www.messenger.com.png

I believe I have shared about this before, but here goes, again. This time in a more official capacity.

Sign Up for PushBlack¬†on Facebook today.¬† You will get history lessons sent¬†directly to your messenger inbox regularly.¬† But not just any history lessons.¬† Take this entry on Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, Did you Know That FDR’s New Deal Was Racist?

PushBlack contextualizes the racist policies inherent in The New Deal. FDR and The New Deal¬†are typically praised for pulling America out of the Great Depression, however, that was not true for black people.¬† Roosevelt’s New Deal actively hurt black people by allowing employers to pay blacks less and kept black people from homeownership.

These are the true legacy of FDR’s New Deal that black people are still fighting.¬† When we talk about dismantling white supremacy, this is what we are talking about.¬† Truth is power and power is liberation.¬† Know your truth and don’t be afraid to stand in it and for it, daily.


 

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KILLING GEORGINA is creating poetry and prose to heal and achieve metaphysical liberation. 


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Gratitude is good, gratuity is better. If you appreciate the content, the emotional labor, the value added by holding space for and amplifying the lives and experiences of women and femmes of color, hit me up here.

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my liberation

Green Forest Environmental Campaign PosterUntil you been

lost like me

loved (and unlovable) like me
abandoned like me

used like me

abused like me;

Your judgements

of me

are

irrelevant.

Your guidance

is

flawed.

Your advice

is

unsolicited.

Until you been lost like me,

you can’t understand

the power of being found

by

your own will

and

creation.

That is my liberation.

 

Killing Georgina is creating poetry and prose to heal and achieve metaphysical liberation.

WWW.PATREON.COM/KILLINGGEORGINA

See more by subscribing to Patreon.com/KillingGeorgina

 

Gratitude is good, gratuity is better. If you appreciate the content, the emotional labor, the value added by holding space for and amplifying the lives and experiences of women and femmes of color, hit me up here.


Follow me on:
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Black and brown women

College, Students - Free pictures on Pixabay

I want to write something beautiful

My throat is full

And it burns

I want to write something enlightening

My head is a snow globe

Of truths and experiences

They swarm me, warm me, hold me close and whisper ‚Äúnobody cares, nobody cares, nobody cares‚ÄĚ

Hissssssssing

angry whispers in my ear

Seek to silence me and mine

‚ÄúNobody cares‚ÄĚ

A refrain as old as time

I want to write something beautiful

I want to write something liberating

I want to write something enlightening

I want to write something illuminating

I want to write something that breaks the chains, turns the tides, screams the truths of me and mine from all the peaks

Shining a light for all that seeks

To see black and brown women whole!

Black and brown women free!

Black and brown women held UP, not back.

Black and brown women served, not serving.

Black and brown women protected, not rejected.

Black and brown women wrapped with the care and tenderness we have provided the masses for ages. Hold us close, whispers like honey, sweet, dripping syrup:

You matter baby. You are loved lady. Beautiful. Soft and kind. Unlock the pictures in your mind and fill me with your truths. Baby you, black and brown woman, are gold. Write me something beautiful. Unfold your truths to be told.

 

#BuyfromBlackWomen #SupportBlackArt

becomemypatreon

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Gratitude is good, gratuity is better. If you appreciate the content, the emotional labor, the value added by holding space for and amplifying the lives and experiences of women and femmes of color, hit me up here.


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#BuyfromBlackWomen

Holiday season is upon us and what better time than to show that Black Lives Matter to you by supporting the work and art of black women and femmes!

Graeme Seabrook has created The Holiday Black Book which is a collection of black women and femme creators, artists, services and entrepreneurs, including yours truly. You can find anything from coaching to jewelry and my e-book of poetry Eggshell Free Poetry from Killing Georgina in The Holiday Black Book –>http://bit.ly/BuyFromBlackWomen.

#BuyfromBlackWomen #SupportBlackArt

Booting Becky and Choosing Myself

Originally published by Threads of Solidarity on Medium on August 1, 2017

And Featured in HuffPo Black Voices on Sep. 14, 2017

Dear Beckys,

We can not be friends. In case you don’t know, Beckys are white women who aren’t actively seeking to understand and dismantle white supremacy. Beckys are good people; they are well meaning and their intentions are everything. Beckys are colorblind and think classism or sexism or fascism or capitalism (or literally any other -ism) but not racism, is the problem we all need to join forces to fight against. Beckys are positive that if we focus on positivity and respectability we shall overcome. Beckys don’t realize the harm they cause. Beckys are white (or white presenting) women who have privilege and implicit bias on their side but refuse to acknowledge it. They participate in maintaining white supremacy and don’t understand or care to unpack how they are complicit in order to affect change.

In short, I can not be friends with white women. Not white women who can’t acknowledge that being colorblind is problematic AF. Not white women who see calling out racism as spreading hate. Not white women who lash out and turn into teenagers spewing insults when I speak my truth and it hurts their feelings because she is set on saying to herself ‚ÄúBut I’m a good person!‚ÄĚ Not white woman who can’t acknowledge simple concepts like white privilege. Not anymore. Both in real life and online, I can not have friends that are not working on anti-racism from the inside out.

It’s my fault though. I invited you to the cookout too soon. I gave you a pass when you said something subtle, casually, as a ‚Äújoke.‚ÄĚ I was afraid of being seen as angry so I laughed along or stood quiet. My silence earned me validation, earned me ‚Äúone of the cool ones‚ÄĚ status. So I did not guard my space and protect my energy from internalizing your reality. I was naive and didn’t understand but now I know. While I know you may not have been aware of what you were doing, you also did not care enough to want to understand. So don‚Äôt call me your best friend if you don‚Äôt want me to be whole.

I have escaped the Sunken Place but with people like this in my life, it’s like having one foot still in and constantly fighting off being dragged back down. Not today Satan. I am stronger than your invalidation. I am wiser than your lack of understanding. I am happier than your perception of me when I am fighting for my liberation. ‚ÄúMy eyes are open and I cannot and will not force them shut.‚ÄĚ I am deliberately grabbing liberation and creating it for myself.

I am

deliberately grabbing liberation

and creating it for myself.

My liberation starts in accepting the truth of my reality and not allowing others to gaslight me into believing there is something wrong with me. I deserve to be whole. I deserve to be comfortable. I’m done swallowing hard and biting my tongue to keep from explaining why what you said wasn’t okay. How that, that thing you just did, is an example of fetishizing, tokenizing, pre-judging, colorism, exceptionalism, tone policing, respectability politics, anti-blackness…the list goes on and on.

I know you don’t want to hear that you are complicit. Guess what? I don’t want to experience (or explain) the harm you are causing in demonizing or dehumanizing people who don’t look like you. Make no mistake, it causes me harm and triple the harm if I say nothing and try to move on. You’re tired. I’m exhausted. I have exhausted my patience, my time, my energy, my love and my acceptance. I have extended my limits of tolerating intolerance and given too many ‚Äúwell meaning‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúgood intentions‚ÄĚ passes. I’m tapped out. I’m done being silenced and made to feel small. Because I can’t have friends that aren’t on the same page as me; not now, not ever! if I want to be whole. It happened before and it will happen again and if I don’t stand for something, I will fall for anything. I’m done being pushed until I fall off the cliff.

So before you ask me, what happened to Kelly or Jane or Becky? Or why she doesn‚Äôt come around anymore, don’t. Before you look at me sideways like I can’t keep a friend, don’t. I chose myself and my sanity over her comfort. That’s what happened. The end.

Signed,

Deliberately Grabbing Liberation

(Formerly known as ‚Äúangry, bitchy, black friend‚ÄĚ)


KILLING GEORGINA is creating poetry and prose to heal and achieve metaphysical liberation.

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https://buymeacoff.ee/RiaMoni


Subscribe to Patreon.com/KillingGeorgina


Gratitude is good, gratuity is better. If you appreciate the content, the emotional labor, the value added by holding space for and amplifying the lives and experiences of women and femmes of color, hit me up here.

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#WhytewomenboycottTwitter

#WhytewomenboycottTwitter

rosemcgowan.jpeg

So, I said what I said. #MeToo. Meaning, I too have been sexually harassed and assaulted in my lifetime. Meaning, I too have been harassed in the workplace, namely by white men, in my lifetime. Meaning, I too have been assaulted by a white man or two in my lifetime. Depends what I want to count and what I want to forget. By saying #metoo, I did not say what, where, how or who because I don’t think it is any of your business. I am not here to be your trauma porn. I am not here to expose all my vulnerabilities on demand. I said what I said and I stand with all victims and survivors of traumas that come in all forms.

But lest you forget, I am first and foremost a black woman though, so fuck Rose McGowan and her peak white feminism and fuck #womenboycottTwitter because as Rosa Clemente said last week when it started (paraphrasing) this is peak white privilege to surrender use of a major platform because of your hurt feelings and sensibilities while Black and Indigenous people are using every avenue we have available to us to stop the bleeding. People are dying in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Island, protests continue in St. Louis, people are dying in Somalia, black lives still don’t matter, indigenous people are still colonized and oppressed.

So no, I won’t boycott Twitter or FB to stand with white women that historically and currently have not stood with me. Instead, I will spend my time using whatever platform I am given to help support, donate, amplify others causes and needs and raise my voice in protest. Because silence is violence and white women continue to wield the power of that violence to bend people and structures to protect and uphold whyte feminism. Whyte feminism is white supremacy. Take your pink pussy hats and shove em…

 

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Change the Page

timeforchange.jpeg

I am not your pusher

I am not your whore

I will not stand aside and hold the door

while you climb

and push me to the margins

skip my footnote

ignore my humanity

take the credit and more

I will not sit back and hide my pain

while you continue to

slander my name,

steal my flame

A desire for

equality, equity, fairness

you fake.

My fire, my heart

Our creations, our art

You take.

 

 

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Anti-blackness Is

Anti-blackness Is


Anti-blackness is

insidious

and ubiquitous

and fatal.

Anti-blackness is a murderer

a liar

a seductress

a poison

a genocide.


Find my Patreon page here at https://www.patreon.com/killinggeorgina.


Gratitude is good, gratuity is better. If you appreciate the content, the emotional labor, the value added by holding space for and amplifying the lives and experiences of women and femmes of color, hit me up here.

Follow me on Facebook, where I am escaping the sunken place and amplifying my teachers here.