Fyah Friday - Reflective Thoughts
I rarely acknowledge mother's day, but this tribute to a grandmother made my eyes water. I love that this piece does two things (1) troubles motherhood- it's not just the biological but the mother/ sister/ aunt/ godmother/ grandmother/ greataunt/ neighbour/ friend/ [older] woman in your life combo (2) doesn't do the trite simplistic thing, and I hope to share these same values with my daughter blah blah... no she says, "I am passing that wisdom on to others," she is in the act of doing and sharing with all. Two things my Grannies taught me 1. the importance of treating all people with respect 2. how to entertain!
I'm super impressed by Janelle's Monae new song Q.U.E.E.N., aren't you? Maybe I'm reading too much into it (as are lots) but I think in many ways this song is the embodiment of queer politic, that deviation from the norm. Black womyn enjoying their sexualityin a plethora of forms. And though this isn't quite my music of choice, I know that when music does play, my bootie doesn't lie. And sometimes I do think I am made to feel weird for dancing a lone late at night. But I think my favourite lines:
Hey sister am I good enough for your heaven?
Say will your God accept me in my black and white?
Will he approve the way I'm made?
Or should I reprogram the programming and get down?
A friend tagged me on this on facebook: Ms Hill and Beyonce.... Disclaimer: I am very much team Lauryn and not at all team Beyonce. I think the writer does a good job of drawing parallels between their paths and choices. For me the Cuba trip as an act of defiance is a bit of reach, probably because I don't like to give Beyonce much credit and because JayZ is the only one who responded to criticism of the trip. The wider point however is regardless of path, the scrutiny is high simply because they are black women. Also, I do have genuine concern for Ms Hill's mental health because though I do recognise the maddening effects of corporate control and capitalism her responses appear to have been far from strategic. It is however probably too much to expect that strategy is possible when forces are actively working to undo you. So though I think there are mental health issues at play I am in no way downplaying the very real attacks the industry has mounted against her and many others who play, and refuse to play ball. The struggle will not always be won.
Born and bred on a small Caribbean island, lover of big-island life temporarily in her North American city of choice. Inherent people fascination is tempered by severe social-anxiety [diagnosed online]. General interests are most things Caribbean, anti-violence community building, feminist anti-oppression practice, sexual health education, mental health, volunteering and reading. Vices blogs, tv/movies online and cheese. Major commitment to self and others is to show love, respect and appreciation.
What is Add Fyah And Stir?
- three fabulous Caribbean feminist cousin-sisters’ who know/understand that:
- there is a wealth of resources available that are of interest to Caribbean feminists. we want to engage with the media around us to shift conversations where necessary, ADD to ideas when possible and ask questions always.
- FYAH (AKA fire) can be a method of destruction, a source of warmth and a site of transformation. we try to bring our social justice committed, love-filled fabulous fyahs into all our interests including mental health, sex and sexuality, music, nas, online tv watching, crochet and anything random that strikes our fancy.
- being committed to social justice and anti-oppression in this world often means we have to STIR stuff up, within our communities, within our families and (often most painfully) within ourselves.