“all of the women in me. are tired.” -nayyirah waheed
#blacklivesmatter #racismisdying #exhausted #weouchea
“I curse you with love”, I shouted to one of my clients on the edge of heartache today. She made eye contact and cried. We never took our eyes off of each other. No words. We understood. The moment two humans unintentionally change each others lives. Gonna miss working there. -Gracie ❤
#theeamazinggrace #love #peace #human #people #heartbreak
This is my #racismisdying #visionboard created from a vintage LP cover! I went beyond what was intended. I taped my poem to the other side when I performed the other night. The convos to generate from it were invaluable. And I want to water seeds in my people. I want us to become our own endless possibility. Like visualizing us alive in our world and being unapologetic or scarred about it-RIDE THE FEAR! To tell our stories from our own mouths. We’re valuable no matter how you feel about it. #amerikaawakes #rebirth #stayinthestruggle #love #theeamazinggrace #girlrillavintage #blacklivesmatter
To my BOLD people of Afrikan descent please accept these words I wrote and performed. I felt shame when I watched it because it wasn’t my best, but I had to remember why I wrote them and how much I’m inspired by you and there is no shame in that. My words come from someplace and are important, so I want to share them. Once I commit them to memory its a wrap tho lol! Shoutout to Coco for recording! #lifebeforetheboat #wecomefromsomeplace #girlrillavintage #blacklivesmatter #theeamazinggrace
Remember life before the boat? How we honored each other? Loved on each other? Made a big ole fuss over each other? And how shade was nothing more than shelter to catch some cool? When oiling scalp time was our love time? Or when we would hunt, fish, and gather wild honey? Or sat silent just because. Or how the OLAYOS would be all loud IN THEY BACKYARD SINGING TO THE MOON LIKE, lululululu? And how those thick and small would do the Mapouka in the rain? OR TWERKING IS WHAT THEY CALL IT NOW A DAYS? How those hurricane movements were expressions of the joy we felt at our bodies ability to move like that? Oh and we laughed cause there was no judgment only love and safety? And how we worshipped the sun for how it kissed us? And how we held feasts for the MudjaJi-The Rain Mother, for CALLING ON THE RAIN TO BRING US food? How vibrant the colors of our people? And how we wore little to cover our skin, so we could decorate it, with elaborate jewels, COLORFUL BEADS, SYMBOLIC war paint, and markings? We come from someplace.
To my BOLD people of AfriKan descent sitting here today I thank you! I thank you for existing, for breathing, for living your best life in spite of yourselves. Thank you for letting me speak to you like this. We exist! Each carefully handcrafted by the CREATIVE. We are the foundation of love. And I remember the harshness attached to each one of us and how we HOLD OUR HEADS UP HIGH TO SURVIVE even today, but love still fills our SPACE-Spirits look around, see how we NEVER FORGOT TO gather like this? Give yourselves credit for the the things you do and this Unity peace is beautiful. And though we weren’t acknowledged by our names, more by our frames we were never insignificant. And we exist for every reason. Go ‘head be as brilliant as you wanna be! Be as flawed and ratchet as you wanna be. ‘Cause our stories are now being told from our own mouths and we reclaim our own bodies cause Being of Melanin is A GIFT from God-Our skin is a visual poem from God. To US beautiful people of AfriKan descent born in America, born in Dominican, born in Cuba, born in Trinidad, born in Germany WE AFRIKANS. LIKE BABA KWAME TURE SAID, ONCE YOU JUST AFRIKAN AIN’T NO QUESTION. And I DON’T NEED TO KNOW YOU TO LOVE YOU TO TEARS OR TO HOLD YOU ALIVE IN MY HEART. YOU ARE VALUABLE NO MATTER HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT. You come from some place.
Remember life before the boat? How we honored each other and loved ON each other? And IT’S COOL IF YOU DON’T cause that’s what I’m here for, a messenger, a GRIOT, a CARRIER OF OUR CULTURES STORIES, OUR STORIES, MORE ALIVE THAN DEAD. OUR RICH AND AMBITIOUS STORIES-MORE ALIVE THAN DEAD! ESPECIALLY WITH YOU HERE WITH ME TODAY. BEING OF MELANIN IS SO MUCH MORE THAN BEING BLACK. WE GOTTA GET BACK TO falling in love with OURSELVES. TO BEING OUR Own endless possibility. AND CAN YOU Imagine A world where us AfriKan descendants suddenly started speaking our OWN native languages Wherever we are in the world? Like the words just FALL out of the sky and into our mouths? NOW THAT WOULD BE THE DAY-Explosive AND SONIC LIKE THE SOUNDS OF AFRIKAN drums in Congo square, IN PROSPECT PARK. HEALING IS WHAT WE NEED. HUGS IS WHAT WE NEED. LOVE IS WHAT WE NEED. ONE LOVE TO THE PEOPLE! -Gracie THEE AMAZING GRACE Berry
Looking through old yahoo emails and came across an account I had of being profiled when #drivingwhileblack when I lived in Savannah. It’s scary to think that the same events that lead to #SandraBlands unlawful arrest and untimely death was the same manor in which I was treated. I remember asking the officer who was white why I had to get out of my car for a speeding violation and him ignoring me. He kept ignoring me. I asked was he going to shoot me and he responded are you going to give me a reason? I thought I would die on some back rd in Georgia, but I’m alive and able to share this story and I wrote a poem about it #blacklivesmatter.
On Monday, February 6, 2006 6:00 PM, Gracie Berry <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
At approximately 4:15pm, on Monday February 6, 2006 I was traveling to Savannah, GA on Interstate I-16 from Atlanta, GA. I spent the weekend in Atlanta searching checking out employment oppurtunities, and life in Atlanta, GA. I began my journey to Atlanta, GA, on Friday February 3, 2006. While traveling on I-16 to Savannah, GA a cop followed me without any lights for approximately 15-20 seconds. He finally put the vehicle lights on and I immediately pulled over on the left side of the road. I pulled over on the left side of the road because I was not aware that he wanted to stop me. As I put my car in Park officers Sewyer, badge number 982 stepped out of his vehicle, told me to pull of the road atleast. I pulled over more to the left, and he told me tp put my car in park. He commenced to peer in my vehicle as if looking for something. He said I waas going 91 miles per hour in a 70 mile per hour zone. Prier to officer Sewyer pulling me over I had music on loud, andwas traveling to Savannah, GA. I was not aware of the decrease in speed of 21 miles per hour over the speed limit. I quickly told him honestly that I did not realize I was going 21 miles per hour over the speed limit. He stated thats what alot of people say. He commenced to ask me a series of questions inlcuding questions about my drivers license, the year and make of my vehicle, and where I was traveling from. I was not sure why he asked me several questions. Instead of taking my drivers license to his vehicle and checking for validity he told me to step out of my car.
Upon him demanding me to get out of my vehicle I remained calm, and orderly. I immediately became physically and verbally defensive by placing my hands in my pocket for comfort, and asking why do I have to get out of my vehicle. He did not choose to answer the question I asked. I wondered in my mind if I was being pulled over for a speeding violation why would I need to step out of my vehicle. He commenced to tell me to follow him to the back of my vehicle. I thought that something was wrong with my vehicle by the paculiar tone in which he coaxed me. As I followed him to the rear of my vehicle he asked me what was I doing? I had my wallet in my hand, and was trying to find my insurance card. I then put my wallet in one hand, and my other hand in my pocket for comfort. He asked me to take my hand out of my pocket, and I did immediately. He said what are you trying to hide. I said nothing, and that I did not feel comfortabale with what was happening. I asked him again why I had to get out of my vehicle. He refused to answer my question. He commenced to tell me to put my hand on the vehicle after I complied with removing my hand from my pocket. I stated that I was very scared, and for him to explain what is going on. He refused to tell me what was going on. At this point I was not calm and I began to cry, and I told him that I was very scared. He asked me if I was going to comply and I said no because I already complied with what he asked of me. He grabbed my arm firmly and commenced to put hand cuffs on me stating that he needed to check what was in my pockets.
Gracie “Thee Amazing Grace” Berry