This morning I was notified about this article in the Washington Post. My dear friends and fellow rabblerousers standing (and being arrested) for racial justice, racist Confederate monuments and against police brutality have been featured! (The monument in Graham was dedicated by a founding member of Alamance County KKK in 1914.) below:
Dedication: My fellow Alamance County people who are fighting against White Supremacy in all kinds of different ways. (If you live in Alamance, sign my petition to safely remove the statue: https://www.change.org/GrahamMonument)
I dedicate this to my dear friends Katie and Nik Cassette, whom I had the privilege of joining their hearts and lives in marriage. They are making awesome, radical art and noise in the streets of Graham in protest of the racist, Confederate monument (<–NPR story). It stands there breathing down the backs of my Black and Brown neighbors and family, as a daily reminder that this country has been built on their backs, yet still glorifies their racist oppressors. My dear Saxapahaw family with whom I have been standing daily in a vigil, are lifting up the struggle for Black Lives on the street corner here in Southern Alamance County. My online friend community is not backing down from the sharing and uplifting of melanated voices and marginalized communities. Those neighbors in Alamance County, many of whom I don’t know, who have signed our petition to remove the statue (mentioned above). Lastly, those of you who are silent and don’t know what to do but want to do something. You are brave. You will find your footing. You have support. We hold on to our values and each other in this revolution.
Quote: “Precisely at the point when you begin to develop a conscience, you must find yourself at war with your society.” – James Baldwin
Song: “Stay On The Battlefield” -Sweet Honey In The Rock https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9xQ44T-TNw Album: Sacred Ground – Track 8 – Year: 1996 Composer Lyricist: Bernice Johnson Reagon (Thank you Rebecca Sandiford for introducing this song to me years ago when we use to exchange CDs of music…)
“I’m gonna stay on the battlefield, til I die…..
I had come into the city carrying Life in my eyes, amid rumors of Death. Calling out to everyone who would listen. It is time to move us all into another century, time for freedom and racial and sexual justice. Time for women, and children, and men. Time for hands unbound. I had come into the city wearing peaceful breasts, and the spaces between us smiled. I had come into the city carrying Life in my eyes. And they followed us in their cars with their computers and their tongues crawl with caterpillars, and they bump us off the road, turn over our cars, and they bombed our buildings, killed our babies, and they slaughtered our doctors maintaining our bodies and their courts changed into confessionals, but we kept on organizing, we kept on teaching, believing, loving, doing what was Holy, moving to a higher ground even though our hands were full of slaughtered teeth, but we held out our eyes, delirious with race, but we held out our eyes, delirious with race….
I’m gonna treat everybody right, til I die.
Come, I say come, you, sitting still in domestic bacteria, come, I say come you standing still in double breasted loins, come I say come and return to the fight, this for the Earth, this fight for our children, this fight for our life. We need your hurricane voices, we need your sacred hands, I say come, sister, brother, to the battlefield, come into the rainforest, come into the hood, come into the barrio, come into the schools, come into the abortion clinics, come into the prisons, come and caress our spines, I say, come, wrap your feet around justice, I say, come wrap your tongues around truth, I say come, wrap your hands with these and prayer, you brown ones, you yellow ones, you black ones, you gay ones, you white ones, you lesbian ones, come, come, come, come to this battlefield called life, called life, called life, called life, called life, called life life life life life…
I’m gonna stay on the battlefield, til I die.”
I cry and feel strong energy when I hear that song. I cry when I read the words of Langston Hughes speaking his peace on the 4th of July in 1852, “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?…What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.” and it is still JUST AS APPLICABLE to today. I growl with contempt when I read about federal, unidentified men kidnapping people off the streets in Portland who are standing for racial justice. I ache with despair when I hear about the mortality rates of Black and Brown communities versus White communities, before COVID-19 and exemplified further now during the virus’ wreckage. I am stirred at my core and I am tired of the growing economic inequality, scraping by to pay my bills and to feed myself… tired of it all. I cannot even begin to imagine how indigenous people around the world and people of color feel about it all.
HOWEVER, let me tell you, I am PROUD to be marching with my neighbors. I am GRATEFUL for the privilege of keeping my job and my position being such that I may share this consciousness with others with this platform. I am ENERGIZED by the movement we are seeing now and I am SOBERED knowing all the days, months, years, pain and deaths ahead. The days in which I know we will see worse events than we have seen up to this moment. I am taking a graduate level course right now called “Teaching for Black Lives”. It is my hope to bring that training to Alamance County teachers. I’m reaching out to the school board and Alamance Community College leaders to offer the idea. The idea, even in its infancy, is exciting.
A cornered dog will not go down without attacking with all his might. We are cornering many dogs. These dogs represent grave problems. The problem of fascism. The problem of White supremacy. The problem of inequality. The problems are patriarchy and capitalism. The problems are SYSTEMS of inequality put in place to protect the powerful White elite. The problem is greed, the problem is Christian hypocrisy, and the problem is complacency. The problem is perpetuated by consolidation of power and media, consolidation of ownership and resource hoarding. There’s enough to go around. I do not need to argue that point. What I seem to have to argue with people is that we actually HAVE a problem. Fucking people, regular people, who live on my very own street, see NO PROBLEM AT ALL and want to keep it as is. Below you will see the faces of some of our elected officials who would rather “keep everything as is”, to silence half their people and defend a rock slab versus protecting the peace by safely removing the racist symbol (and risk pissing off their Confederate flag-toting base).
Last night, the Alamance County Commissioners had no comments, whatsoever, when scathing reprimands were brought to them by their constituency.
Tim Sutton (his contact info is below) asked of the protestors making noise outside, “Is that legal?” To which I said in response to a speaker’s social media post mentioning his foible,
“I loved it when he asked that. Showed his detrimental ignorance about the Constitution. Reminds me of how some in my family never allowed for healthy debate of issues. Children/teenagers even as adults were not allowed to do anything or say anything that went against their own beliefs without being shamed or gaslighted. Alamance County homophobic, racist, White people who are never challenged need to be. Every day. Until they see it or until they are gone.”
Upcoming Shows: Tonight at 8:30 Livestream on Insta and FB
Sunday, guest for speaker series (private)
Wednesday, 29th, virtual guest for Jonathan Byrd’s Shake Sugaree residency at the Kraken! (HUGE HONOR! BIG SURPRISE IN STORE!)
If you would like to call the Alamance County Commissioners and speak your opinion, here’s their information:
Dedication: The Migrant Farmers, The Gardeners, The Land Cultivators – Those who feed us all. We must remember from where our food and sustenance come, for we are nothing without the land – we exist on stolen soil and call it private property with arbitrary borders bound to arbitrary power – we can start acknowledging from there and create a discourse together, from now on.
This is also dedicated to my best friend Maggie and my dear friend Harry who feeds our community and themselves and are exemplary humans I am honored to know and call friends.
Quote: “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” Mary Oliver and subsequently, “When large slices of the demos feel as if their voice is not being heard, they feel helpless, impotent and turn on themselves and turn on each other… Every generation is wrestling what it means to be human and how one takes democracy seriously, and has to accent the underside of their present moment, in light of the past, to ensure that the future can be a little bit better, maybe even qualitatively better than the present.” Dr. Cornel West
Dear Humans: Today is Tuesday and I have felt like a flapping fish out of water (forgot to take my medicine… Captain Distracto… Passionate Multi-Tasker… Obsessive Student… Crazed Teacher… Mad Artist! I am teaching, was accepted into a graduate level 5-week intensive class “Teaching for Black Lives”, standing daily on the street corner with my sign, highlighting police brutality with my neighbors, falling in love with myself and my Spiritual path, doing some yoga, making friends with dedication, making art, reading tarot cards, making matchbooks and frequenting the post office. I have amazing news. On Wednesday, the 29th, I’ll be performing 2 of my songs as the virtual half-time guest of Jonathan Byrd and the Shake Sugaree Global Pandemic Live Stream. I cannot even begin to describe what an honor this is. I’ve been listening to Jonathan Byrd since I was 23… I’m 37… that’s a long time!
Love to everyone, I’d wax poetic here about everything into which I’ve been diving, but I’ll spare you and share another quote of Dr. Cornel West, “Democracy is like the art form of jazz: You better find your voice, accent your individuality in community so you can contribute to the high quality of the collective performance. Find your voice! Each citizen: dig deep into the precincts of your soul and examine the suburbs of your voice and find your voice and get it out, not just your self-interest but your voice that balances enlightened self-interest and public interest and the public good. (We aren’t just talking about votes in Florida..).” 2014, Dr. Cornel West speaks at University of Washington
This week in pictures:
Upcoming shows: Every Tuesday at 8:30 – live on Instagram and Facebook! ❤
…the day I decided to marry my Spirituality. What a charm!
Dedication: I dedicate this TuesDay NewsDay to Athene, Goddess of Justice. I intend to honor her in shining my light. There is no reason for me to hide it. I have been too concerned with worrying about others’ thoughts and less about how I show up in this world. No longer!! Athene carries upon her shoulder a white owl reflecting her clarity of vision – it can see and hunt in the dark. She was born from Zeus’ head after he tried to prevent her birth by eating her mother, Metis, Goddess of Wisdom. Can’t keep THIS one from shining her light. Nope. Her convictions are birthed from pursuit of truth and the recognition that there must be a battle to uphold truth with logic, diplomacy and creativity. Her weapons as gifts to the likes of Odysseus and Perseus always had to be used with intelligence, foresight and planning. She was chaste. She valued service over personal desire and put principles over passions – the mind has the ability to make choices upon reflection, mastering instincts. Athene blessed and “rendered valuable service to mankind. She taught the art of taming horses, and fostered skills and crafts such as weaving and embroidery. Her activities were concerned not only with useful work, but with artistic creation as well.” She nurtured warriors who protected peace. (Quoted and paraphrased from the Tarot card Justice of the Mythic Tarot, by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Green) I pulled this card today in a “present-time” spread which threw my jaw to the ground and kept it there the whole time.
Song: Cakewalk – by Taj Mahal – (One of my favorite songs of all time and reflects how good I feel today. ❤ “Throw your big leg over me mama, I might not feel this good again…” (But I will. Promise)
Dear Humans: Wow. What an insane time to be alive! What a blessing to see all the ruckus going on in this world – the bravery and passion of people standing up in the streets against police brutality and racism. Bigotry of all kinds! Your time is up! Your number has been disconnected! Your mother has just arrived at the party and you’re being pulled out by your ears while drunk on the power you thought you had, but you don’t. Not anymore! It was an illusion! Of course, I know it won’t go down without a fight. The fight is coming. I feel privileged to be part of it.
I feel grateful to be a teacher in these times. I feel honored and blessed to have a voice, a platform, and musical and artful proclivities. Thank you to all of you out there who have gifted me with your love and support (financial and the gifts of your time) through all this. Musicians the world over are having to get creative, even more-so than before, to make ends meet. I’m so glad to have my teaching job (though teachers make pennies compared to the work they do).
This week, as mentioned before, is the beginning of my 30-day yoga challenge. Today is day 5. After I finish writing this, I will be doing my next video. (Yoga By Adriene – look her up on youtube. You’re welcome) I’m so proud of myself. That is not something I have said very much… reflecting on my life. I am exercising healthy boundaries, discerning what feels good and doesn’t, and exploring how to ease into things that feel difficult at first.
Have you ever challenged yourself to do something you’ve felt guilty for NOT doing for years? This time, I wrote down my dedication (see two blog posts back if you want to read it). I deduced WHY this objective and goal is important. In order to show up as the passionate and compassionate singing teacher warrior I know I can be, I have to make sure the vessel in which I occupy is healthy. I have to make sure my Spirit is healthy. I have to re-parent the little kid inside me who is afraid of failing, who is angry at injustice cause she knows how that feels, and who wants to play and make art all the time (she never got to really play and was always older than she should’ve been growing up). Right now, for the first time, there is beginning to be integration between my body, mind, and Spirit. Holy cow. The Tarot spread I had today basically described my current situation to a T. Here’s the story I read from those cards:
I amthe young adventurer on a mission with a vision (2 of Wands). The vision is the King of Wands who has mastered the power to manifest vision with creative imagination. I am supported by Athene (Justice card) and need to devote to her my honor – she is the Spirit embodying my self-knowledge. Her chastity gives birth to artistic creativity in service to the greater good and fostering peace with ethical implementation. I know who I am and have the potential to be through her wisdom and devotion to truth and justice. This vision is possibly blocked by choices of the flesh and perceived worldly power over my Spirit. (Lovers card – reversed). I am making choices in real life – at this moment I am choosing Lady Justice – my values are being tested. I have a choice between love or a sacred, creative activity at this time. I believe Love IS my sacred, creative activity now. Every time I make art, seek out truth and teach my students how, and when I work for justice, I am praying a literal prayer of activism and devotion. At this time, I must look carefully at the implications of my choices in the past. Heartache, physical pain and ill heath are old love. Creative Spirit is new love.
I must waitin my romantic relationshiprealm (The Hanged Man) and make the voluntary sacrifice for my own best interest (to see through to the achievement of this vision). After the Wheel of Fortune’s challenge of fate, I must use the lesson of the Hanged Man, understanding and willingness to put trust in the Unseen – knowing there will be anxieties yet, also knowing it will all be okay. I must marry my Spirit (10 of Cups). This decision augers ongoing emotional contentment and permanence in the realm of the heart. Psyche marries Eros; gives this creature wings to fly. I will withstand any challenge offered by Life. I no longer need to hide my Love. I can let my love light shine. Take heed, (7 of Pentacles reversed) I am making a choice. I can either reject something Divinely inspired or choose security and safety and risk mundane perpetuity. This decision comes to every person who attempts to manifest creative energy. Also take heed, (9 of Cups – reversed) REMEMBER that everything has been done up to now in loyalty to your inner feeling values. This moment is fulfillment of your wish – self-validation, from your commitment to your inner-development. Do not forget how far you have come. This is a reward for your efforts. You may find yourself underwater, but remember and be grateful, you can still breathe, magically, and despite the odds.
At the heart of my journey lies my biggest inner strengths, resilience and positivity through chosen, constructive nostalgia. (6 of Cups) Through turmoil, I have the capability to be at peace with myself. I am cultivating that power at this very moment. From hardship, there are positive, good memories for which to be grateful and from them I gain knowledge of myself. There is stillness and serenity in the lessons of the past and I choose that serenity and stillness, that solemn honoring which sprouts from life’s disappointments and pain. From those experiences, I have the capabilities to move on with resolve and reflection.
Believe in your vision enough to try, these messages say clearly. Firmly grip the fire of imagination and go forth with the hands of Spirit and Love at your back and the temple of Justice upholding you from below.
This week in pictures:
Upcoming gigs: Next Tuesday! 8:30 Livestream on Insta and Facebook (my FB anitalorrainemusic page)