About GirlrillaVintage the Blog

vintage graced my bones before i ever knew what grace was. humility. mama shopped free. had us convinced that we made the clothes worth something; during a time when rocking rabbit fur and knitted hats in 4th grade could get you stomped out (schoolyard pizza lol). when all the kids had the latest (bk's, guess, reeboks, gold chains), mama glorified the ‪#‎handmedown‬, dark spots on bananas. took bleach and water to mothball and avon stink, her and the scrub-board worked it out. that's why i'm so girlrillavintage-girl real with her vintage. vintage was my first home on earth and it cost me nothing. gave me courage. taught me bout grace before i even knew who she was.

“Don’t Save Her. She Don’t Wanna Be Saved”: How the Ho/Queen Dichotomy is Killing the Black Body

One time for my LA sisters One time for my LA hoes Lame niggas can’t tell the difference One time for a nigga who knows J Cole’s catchy chant in “No Role Modelz” reminds us that there’s a differenc…

Source: “Don’t Save Her. She Don’t Wanna Be Saved”: How the Ho/Queen Dichotomy is Killing the Black Body

To Smile Was My Only Inflection

 

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Struggling to Self love in summer

Self portrait. #summer2015 During a time of major transition. When the events in my life had me feeling grimy and less than powerful, unattractive and sore in heart. The sun was brighter and warmer that day, managed to hug me out of bed and into these clothes, onto this chair and under the trees where I could breathe. Suddenly, shit didn’t feel so bad. Reminded me of that unstoppable time on the train from Savannah when I knew then that my existence was never meaningless. And just like that my soul was warmed to the bone. To smile was my only inflection. #tag #theeamazinggrace #girlrillavintage #selflove #sunnydays #soullight #winning

Letter to NY Daily News Re: Alton Sterling Cover

Mr. Mortimer Zuckerman,

Are there any limits to the images NY Daily will publish? Your agency, being the fourth-most widely circulated tabloid in the U.S., I find it hard to believe that it would be acceptable to publish the blood soaked images of officers slain in Dallas, so why Alton Sterling? Or maybe that is a level of trauma and dehumanization reserved only for civilians of Afrikan descent? I’m deeply troubled by your lack of concern. Even the 1928 cover of Ruth Snyder’s execution was more dignified than Mr. Sterling. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

It reminds me of how my life as a woman of Afrikan descent is not in my hands. And how we are all hard-wired to endure, overcome, hold on a little longer when our bodies are left alone to die with cameras trained on us like guns. And publishers like you dissect and sell our pain for profit. Llike it’s “sport” to kill Afrikan bodies the same way it is to kill Afrikan wildlife, for trophies? Our existence is a catalyst to the indifferences we face EVERY TIME racial disparities happen. And you express no moral sorrow and publish it anyway.

We are all #micahxavierjohnson. The pain that caused the reaction. When we’ve had enough. When our silence no longer comforts. When our pain suffocates us & we become brave enough. AND I DON’T HATE WHITE PEOPLE, OR WANT TO KILL THEM. I WANT me and my loved ones to live. We NEED to survive encounters with the police. We NEED to survive their judgements about us before we open our mouths. We NEED hugs, mental, and emotional sensitivity. We NEED white publishers like you to look at your own humanity, know when you’ve gone too far and fix it!

Concerned,
Gracie Berry
Huntsville AL 35810

We Are All Micah Xavier Johnson

“Micah Johnson’s tactics are not my own, yet I’m all too familiar with his pain. I’m black. I’m alive while black today, yet my future is uncertain. My future does not seem to be in my own hands. I can’t help, but to feel his pain. And NO I don’t hate white people or want to kill them! I want to live. I need my family and fellow friends of Afrikan descent to live. I need us to survive encounters with police. I don’t want our bodies riddled with bullets when compliant. I don’t want us to be judged before we open our mouths. I want questions asked first, a safe return. I want an excuse offered to the state of our mental and emotional health. I don’t want our bodies riddled with bullets or chokeholds, blood. I want our bodies to be our own. I don’t want us struggling to be black. To struggle to exist. I want the world to know that we do and on purpose. I want them to accept that we do and let us live like we do. In some ways we are all #micahxavierjohnson, when we’ve had enough. When our silence no longer comforts. When our pain suffocates us & we become brave enough.”

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Micah Xavier Johnson

My second point is, FUCK false supremacy! Yes. I said, False Supremacy. Perley Cooper taught me that. The “white” is to incite inferiority. They don’t have any more power over us than we do, its an illusion tactic to overpower us to feel inferior. They plaster all things white all over the world, ALL over as to account for what is “normal” “acceptable”, “respectable”, or the “standard” for all living creatures. But they are not. They try to confuse us, chip away at our humanity, our images, our very lives. They try to evoke in us a feeling of less-than who and what we know we are. WE ARE RICH WITH MELANIN! We must change what we feel to believe what we KNOW. WE ARE AFRIKANS-THE MOST POWERFUL SPIRITS ON THE PLANET! AUCTOCHTHONOUS-THE FIRST PEOPLE, JUST LOOK AT EGYPT AND NIGERIA AND MARS. Don’t ever forget that.

Thirdly, to all of my friends and family of Afrikan descent who are parents don’t fret you’re doing just fine. Continue to guide those babies just as you always have strong, loving, black, proud. Don’t let fear override the great work you’ve done. Love is our freedom. Teach them the ways of our people, so that even if they decided one day to be an officer of the law, they will NEVER compromise themselves or our people. They will always know their truth and honor that no matter what. We can’t shelter our babies from the realities of racism and injustice in the world, but we can teach them and nurture them in the way they grow, teach the their power, that we as Afrikan people indeed have POWER! Believe in their ability to choose. BELIEVE IN THEM!

Love is and always has been BLACK-who we are. Love is in our DNA. Just look at how resilient and accepting, and forgiving sometimes to our own demise because thats where we come from, the home from where we come. We have to believe that. We must believe in our own abilities. Our people are winning in spite of ourselves and aside from all of the death and destruction plaguing our communities. Many will die to free our people, but they will never be forgotten, their deaths can never be in vain. Their struggle is ours to wage, and we must stay in it. We are limitless in our abilities. We can truly be and do anything. Grow them seeds and they will give us more fruit. One love to the people! Afrikan people, I don’t need to know you to love you to tears.

#TAG #TheeAmazingGrace #Girlrillavintage

Tomorrow Doesn’t Matter

Image 4-26-16 at 11.43 AM.jpgA collage I made about 5-years ago when I was pregnant, depicts a boy next to a tree, has pieces of my first set of #locs in it. It now sits as a magnet on my refrigerator, a reminder of my youth, my child that didn’t make it, and the ambition I always sought from creating art. My ambition is dormant still and I’ve spent too kmuch time trying to tell my story just the right way not knowing I’ve been living my story all along. I caption this, No one knows tomorrow, yet knowing tomorrow doesn’t matter just as long as the roots are branched widely to anchor the trees that will come from it. We don’t need to know tomorrow. We have to breathe in such a way that tomorrow will never have to search for us. Never need to question our existence cause our existence is alive in the trees. My story is everything. #theeamazinggrace #legacy #live #life #love #self