Tag Archives: sheroes

Junot Diaz and Toni Morrison

Beautiful conversation between Junot Diaz and Toni Morrison at the New York Public Library.

Morrison on unlocking books:

I always felt that the narrative that African Americans, particularly political ones, told — if they were manipulated by or in the hands of mainstream publishing — it was going to automatically be restrained…  It’s sort of like Frederick Douglass and those slave stories.  You can feel them withholding because they’re writing for abolitionists and they don’t want to upset them too much.  And that gaze and that control, to me, is obvious.

It’s even there in some African American fiction where I can feel that gaze.  That they’re really not talking to me.  If you write a book and call it invisible man, invisible to who?  Not me.

Beloved and mothers:

At the time – this book came out in ’83 or something – but at that time, women who were being progressive and trying to knock down barriers and crack open ceilings, they were intonating that one of the things that would make a woman free was to not have children.  Therefore, she should be able to have access to abortion.  And that was understood to be freedom.

And I was thinking just the opposite.  I never felt more free in my life until I had children.  They were just the opposite of a burden…

But for black women, enslaved, to have a child that you were responsible for, that was really yours, that was really freedom.  Because they took those children.  You didn’t have children.   You may have produced them, but they weren’t yours.  They could be sold.  Were sold.  To be a mother was the unbelievable freedom.

So when Margaret Garner cut that girl’s neck, she was saying ‘this child is mine.’  And to claim her, even if it had to go and become bloody.  Nevertheless that was the freedom, that was the ability, that was the mothering.

On her characters:

I expect them to give it up.  I mean, who do they think they are?  I’m writing so, come on.  I notice that if I don’t have their names right, they don’t talk, but if I get their names right, they are very talkative.  I understand them completely and they sortof understand what the job is.  So it’s an intimate relationship and I’m more grateful than surprised.

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Beautiful and necessary piece by Arundhati Roy.  Some excerpts:

India’s nuclear tests, the manner in which they were conducted, the euphoria with which they have been greeted (by us) is indefensible. To me, it signifies dreadful things. The end of imagination.

… Railing against the past will not heal us. History has happened. It’s over and done with. All we can do is to change its course by encouraging what we love instead of destroying what we don’t. There is beauty yet in this brutal, damaged world of ours. Hidden, fierce, immense. Beauty that is uniquely ours and beauty that we have received with grace from others, enhanced, re-invented and made our own. We have to seek it out, nurture it, love it. Making bombs will only destroy us. It doesn’t matter whether we use them or not. They will destroy us either way.

The End of Imagination

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Fall

Feels like a lot of people were lost this summer.

Hope we find what we need in the fall.

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Visionary Women Elders

What better way to start women’s history month than with a charged exchange between two visionary elders?

I went to see Angela and Grace tonight hoping for answers.  Came home with even more questions.  Feeling inspired and full of warmth. ❤

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We are the Leaders We’ve Been Waiting For

One of my sheroes is coming to town!

Here’s part of an interview Grace Lee Boggs did with Bill Moyers:

You can see the full segment here.

We edited and shared some of a talk she and Michael Hardt gave about her new book, The Next American Revolution, on APEX (Michael starts at 3:10, Grace starts at 14:00).

Here’s a recording of Grace and Immanuel Wallerstein from the 2010 US Social Forum (Starts at 3:20).

Wanna see Grace in the Bay?

For the first time in history, iconic activists Grace Lee Boggs and Angela Davis will share the stage for a conversation entitled “On Revolution: A Conversation Between Grace Lee Boggs and Angela Davis” on Friday, March 2nd at Pauley Ballroom, University of California, Berkeley from 4pm-6pm.

More details here.  You can also catch her in SF Chinatown:

As CPA celebrates our 40th anniversary this year, we are excited to begin 2012 by honoring the legacy of an Asian American movement shero, Grace Lee Boggs. We will co-host a very special event, “Building the Next American Revolution: A Celebration and Tribute to Grace Lee Boggs,” which will take place on Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 at the Chinese Culture Center in San Francisco Chinatown from 1-4 pm, with a reception and book signing.

This event will feature Grace Lee Boggs, who will reflect on Asian American activism and our movement during the current political times and key issues affecting the world today.

Details here.

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