Condiment Aisles Aren’t Even Safe for Black Folk

This black woman has had enough of hateful ass white people. Standing in the condiment aisle at GIANT Grocery Store on Columbia. You know how we sort of get stuck in one place (descisons, decisions)? Several folks mirrored the same. His very old, ignorant ass shuffled back and forth several times. I noticed him for that reason. He stopped next to me and said, “OK, what gives? What are you doing here? You don’t have a basket or anything.” I’m like huh? He repeated. I said, “Too bad it’s not obvious.” He went on, “You should at least have a basket.” I asked, “Does it look like I’m in fucking captivity?!” He walked off mumbling “testy” “get a basket then”. He complained to whoever would listen.

Instantly, “I’m the angry black woman” when he racially accosted me in the condiment aisle. A young, white guy told him that he was out of line because he didn’t say that to anyone else. I thought, of course he didn’t say that to anyone else because no one else was black. No one else, he could use his false sense of entitlement on. Young guys sentiment wasn’t enough. I wish white folks would call other white folks exactly what they’re when that happens, blatantly racist. #racismwillnotwin #thisisamerica

-Gracie

Redefining Symbols of Oppression to Empower You

I was on Facebook this morning and a friend had posted a picture of him holding a t-shirt that bore the symbol of a swastika. And the caption read: Dope shirt from @spiritualpunx‬. A woman on the same post was clearly offended and began expressing her outrage by the symbol. I know that friend that posted it did not have ill intentions and had newly discovered some meaning in the symbol that was spiritually and culturally important for them. And having talked to them on many occasions about it I realized that he had redefined the symbol to empower him, but it made me think about how people don’t often consider others when they’re in self discovery and I can tell that woman was experiencing trauma by the way she was reacting, so I decided to post the following thought:

As a person of Afrikan descent I realize how triggering it can be to see symbols associated with the oppression of my people. I want to express my sincerest and deepest sympathy to anyone that has been affected by how the Nazis in western Europe used the swastika symbol to traumatize an entire people, and I lift up your ancestors in the spirit of things. I had a revolution a couple of years back after seeing one too many “confederate flags” on the vehicles and persons of white people in the country. I remember asking a man once what his motivation was  for hailing the flag on his car-he called me the N-word and told me he didn’t have to tell me anything. By his reaction it was clear that racism was his motivation. That feeling of unrelenting fear after seeing one too many white people toting it with pride and menacing in their eyes I decided that I no longer wanted to be enslaved by it.

While thrifting one day I found a lunch pale that had the confederate symbol on it. I purchased the bag. I thought of the many ways I could use the bag to empower myself and my people, so I did a social experiment and taped a note to the front that said, “Over 250,000 blacks fought in this war including my grandfather who fought in the battle of Shilo.” I included a quote from a young black army veteran that talked about his grandfather fighting in the battle of Shilo. I realized that I had control over how the symbol affected me. I was tired of literally feeling lynched by the flag every time I saw it. Before educating myself about the swastika it carried the same bold and hateful message as the confederate flag. However, I found out that the swastika not only originated in Sanskrit, but was a symbol for many other anti-oppressive and spiritual things cross many cultures.

To my friend that posted I find it important to be mindful when baring arms for oppressive symbols. The need for education, solidarity, and caring when reevaluating what all that means. It lets folks know that they can trust us, and that we aren’t closet racists and have only good intentions more specifically with the public domain of social media. It seems crass not to consider the struggles of those directly affected by it, or failing to keep them safe in our company. And while self-discovery is a healthy part of the human experience we must clarify our intentions around sensitive issues like oppression. We should always be mindful in our quest for education and acceptance of those communities that may be affected on any level by the images they see, and be diligent in providing viable resources to help educate the people about information they may not have access too or be aware of. As a community educator, revolutionary, and, artists its not only my responsibility, but it dignifies me and the work that I do with integrity. It lets folks know that I’m not posting random pictures of hateful images in haste. That I respect them, want to include them on the information, clarify any miscommunication or ill intentions, and to offer my support where I can. It’s important! 

The site below was helpful to me in discovering the true origins of the swastika. Hope this helps. One love! -Thee Amazing Grace/ Gracie Berry

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_thule10.htm

Battle_flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America thule10_02

#gracieberry #theeamazinggrace #girlrillavintage #confederacy #flags #oppression #racism #swastika

Gentrified Dive Spots Make for Really Racist Encounters for Black Creatives Like Me

Had dinner at Stubby’s Bar and Grill. Saw a Facebook friend, the only normal part of the evening. Delicious fries and burger after 18-years, (insert meme) lol! Guy sits next to me, tells me his painful life story-shorts stained from blood after coming from his day job of slaughtering deer and curing meat for cash. Filling my ear with things like me being so exotic and that there was no way I could be from the area the way I dressed. He purchased drinks that I let sit the entire night. He shared a story about an encounter he had with a homeless white guy in New Orleans that accused him of being cheap and not taking care of his own. The homeless guy went on to compare him to the black people that took better care of him than people like him. The white homeless person apparently used the N-word to describe those ‘caring’ black people, that took care of him. The deer guy eluded to using the N-word by saying, “Well I’m going to say what he said, but I don’t want you to get mad. I couldn’t believe that guy calling me-you know he said, the forbidden word whites called blacks back then? The bad N-word”. I don’t want to say it,  but.” I stopped him before nigger came dripping from his mouth, and told hime that I didn’t want to hear the N-word come from his mouth and in fact I had no interest in hearing any utterance of it at all. He diverted to some other non-race related conversation. And yelled, “I love you!” to me when I left the bar that night.

The bar tender over hears me say, “I prefer women”, after the deer guys tries flirting with me, and says a ridiculous comment about how ‘he’ is a lesbian too (barf). Then another “good ole boy” wearing a “Race Against Racism” T-shirt says, “You know how all you black people look alike (laughing his ass off)?” I said sir, “No sir, I don’t know how we all look alike. We are a culture, not a cult-and I don’t find anything you said funny.” The man next to us laughed and pointed fun at him for saying such a thing, called him a racist dumb ass. Good ole boy exclaimed, “I meant it to be funny-a joke you know!?” I said, No, I don’t understand how you meant it to be a joke. And the only joke seems to be on you sir. You should never wear that T-shirt again, ever-in public, or say those words to any person of color you meet, ever.” His face seemed to resemble that which encounters a pile of shit in close proximity. Strange and eventful night-all for craving a burger. Lawd of mercy!

-Gracie

Pic #1 Burger was so good. #2 The well lit football helmet? #3 The moment deer meat dude walked up on me, stumblin’. #4 Me cool and collected-wishin’ a mufuka would lol! ‪#‎Liberatingmyexperienceatallwhiteplaces‬

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White Privilege is Ugly and So Damn Intrusive

Post radical movements are happening: Caught the train last week to rehearse for a loc showcase I’m involved. There was a white man in his mid to late 40’s talking loudly on his cell phone about a business deal he knew he was going to get. He talked a good 15 minutes with no regard to anyone. The other passengers huffed and puffed, but said nothing. I finally said, it’s your privilege that makes you speak so loudly on this train huh? He said, excuse me? I said, you heard me. Your white privilege. And if I might add you’re obnoxious to assume that we care to hear your conversation. The instant 6 children playing on the tracks stopped the train. The power went out. His privileged ass didn’t respond to my sentiment lol! In fact didn’t speak the rest of the ride. ‪#‎checkyoprivilege‬ ‪#‎whiteprivilegeisugly‬ #trainselfies #odunde2014

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Selfies Gone Too Far: Kara Walkers Mamie Sphinx Art Installation in Brooklyn

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Selfies Gone Too Far: Kara Walkers Mamie Sphinx Art Installation in Brooklyn

To any white person reading this I have such a strong interest in checking folks that are willfully ignorant. I will not blame myself for what is blatant racism enacted against me and other people of color in these photos. I am not concerned with ‘not blaming all white people’ as if people of color have no discernment of such things. In the liberated words of Nayyirah Washed-most white people can’t handle the truth of racism. The pains of having the truth of racism confront them directly, is shattering to the safety of their beliefs, and instead of grappling with this; they give it to us to do for them. And frankly if our comments on the subject fucked you up-it’s yours to deal with, absolutely, unequivocally not our concern. Tyrone and those alike on this post sounding like the unmitigated ignorance of Donald Sterling, know that, yes Kara Walker’s Mamie Sphinx installation is certainly about honoring black female bodies and clarifying the grossly misinterpreted history attached to them. Hell, proximity meant nothing when slave owners raped both female and male bodies to exercise their dominance, brutality and privilege over our bodies. There is nothing ‘funny’ about misguided ‘white hipsters’ and people of color taking insulting selfies in front of a deeply moving and historical artwork. I had a conversation about this with a friend of color that lives and BK before the installation went up, and they share a similar opinions on how the intentions of those in the community, despite the artists intention can be mostly damaged by the community that surrounds it. It makes me sick to see these images. I think that Kara Walker should allow the world to see how these folks treat history in regard to dark flesh by plastering their images all over the walls of the exhibit. Really draw on awareness from this buffoonery. -Gracie

Read full article: http://news.artnet.com/art-world/kara-walkers-sugar-sphinx-spawns-offensive-instagram-photos-29989#.U4pd4zub–p.facebook