I’ve been busy. I’m getting ready to go out of town — out of the country, actually — to help a friend for a quick min, with her baby — postpartum care. . . . sort of. I haven’t met her baby yet because I haven’t seen my friend in a while. I am really looking forward to hanging out with them and getting my very long overdue dose of radical Afro-Carib-Trinidadian and Hungarian feminist, queer, human rights theory, from her. I’m getting a rush now just thinking about it. I’m also gearing up to return to school this Fall, as you know (if I can find funding, that is. Thanks, Sequester), to work towards a PhD in sociocultural anthropology, which I’m anticipating to be crazy insane as far as being busy and that taking much of my time. There is also some other stuff that’s been going on around here that has not lent me much time to write these days, but I did want to bring another what I call my ‘newsletter-type-ish’ post, that has some things that are happening around and about:
- Black Feminist Blog Carnival is coming, really. I am truly sorry I have had to push the date back on publishing the fabulous articles I received on ‘debunking the man-hating myth’, and know it is so important to continue to work on this perspective in Black feminist thought. The reason I am so behind is that I have not been able to dedicate the time I need to organize and create my contribution to this carnival, which is why it’s so late, because I want to give the best representation to the contributors as well as the readers as possible. Please bear with me.
- I withdrew from speaking at the Inequity in Breastfeeding Support Summit, that’s happening in Seattle in June. I did not make this decision lightly because addressing the impact of institutional racism, power and white privilege on breastfeeding rates and maternal-infant health, is very important to me. I also clocked some valuable time helping organize this conference, and was looking forward to presenting. For now, I will not be going into much detail about my withdrawal, but since some of you were looking forward to me presenting, I will give you the gist on why I backed out:
I really felt that since people of color were not the ones who held the ‘purse strings,’ or any ‘real’ positions of power on the committee, it was inevitable that issues of racialized oppression and white supremacy were being served up as stronger dishes than an actual address of the way these systemic issues are a major force in breastfeeding inequity. I felt that far from being involved in creating ways to truly challenge injustice and engage the most affected members of the community, the venue only became a way to center the experiences of white people, and that my remaining a ‘Black body on display’ and ‘performing’ for an audience, which became geared to the least impacted — white healthcare workers, was very problematic for me. The way I see it is while this scene may appear to enact change and be viewed at resolving critical issues, it would not. Instead, it would only fortify the cohesiveness of whiteness and the deeply entrenched racism, helping it to mutate, making it much more difficult to see because it would create more ‘white saviors’ and ‘do-gooders’, who are not interested in challenging a system they benefit from everyday. It just continues the provide power to white people, and reinforce the dynamic of race and class. It also only creates more ways for these people to ‘help,’ instead of providing the communities most affected with critical tools to challenge the legacy that is racism and white domination — much of the reasons behind these issues. It would just continue to disempower them. And create more disparities. And this is everything I work against. But like I told the committee, this is the way *I* see it. You may see things differently, and I would love it if you shared your thoughts.
- My two year blogaversary was yesterday!
- Interesting things around the web:
- Dr. Breeze Harper — the Sistah Vegan, just published a great blog post entitled On the Myth of Being a Strong Black Woman, Decolonizing Our Taste Buds, and Self-Care, where she was part of a talk and discussed her experience of being a ‘Strong Black Woman’. I am so happy that more attention discussing these issues in the work of anti-racist and social justice activists. You know that I just recently discussed something somewhat along these lines — mine, though, was about the need to make self-care an intricate part of our work and not view it as a separate entity. I’m really glad to see Dr. Harper’s article/talk, and if I find other interesting perspectives on the topic floating around, I’ll make sure to tell you about those, too.
- One of my favorite bloggers, Darcel of The Mahogany Way, is fundraising to become a doula through the International Center for Traditional Childbearing. This is also where I took my training, and I think the course taught, which centers the experiences of Black women, is wonderful. Transformational. I hope that you will see the importance of supporting more Black women becoming doulas and all doulas of color, and pitch in if you can.
- I just learned that ROSE (Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere) Breastfeeding coalition is hosting the Addressing Social Determinants of Breatfeeding Conference. I’m not a spokesperson for this organization, really, I just truly appreciate them! This particular conference here is practically giving me palpitations because it sounds so exciting. It is happening at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, on August 23, and there looks to be an interesting lineup of speakers. This conference is not too long after ROSE’s annual breastfeeding summit in Atlanta, this year’s theme is about organizing, and is taking place on August 8-9. So. Exciting. I really hope I am able to go.
- Once Sold Tales, a used bookstore, is going out of business. I’m so sad to see this awesome Seattle-based company close their doors, after all of the awesome stuff they’ve done within and for the community. I really don’t like to see most bookstores close down, really. I read an article that they are struggling to find homes for 500,000 books, so if you are in the area, stop by. They will give you a free book if you mention the story in the link, and have implemented a ‘grab bag’ to try and reduce their stock so even if you’re not around here then you can get them shipped to you! Please check them out. Imagine the critical theory, breastfeeding and birth readers they have available. For cheap!
- Infant tooth reveals Neanderthal breastfeeding habits: Chemicals in primate teeth reveal transition to solid food, is an interesting article I read today. I’m insanely fascinated with Neanderthals and, believe it or not, I often times find myself romanticizing about eras when they existed. I try and find as much info as I can to look at how things are ‘supposed to be’, and I think it gives me a good starting point, I think, to see how drastically we have moved away from nature. The article is interesting, though just one tooth doesn’t tell us all that much, but it’s definitely something.
- Finally, I’m going to be taking an advocate/activist and blogging break soon. I think I’m finally at the point where the universe will actually allow me to take time off and regroup from this work. This is a first because usually, the smallest inkling of a thought towards this and I could almost guarantee that something, anything, would transpire, and send me a clear message that I couldn’t break just yet. But I’m feeling it’s OK this time around. We’ll see. I’ll give you more details when it happens, next month, so don’t worry — I won’t just leave you hangin’.