We Who Believe in Freedom: A Sweet Remix from the Sistorian Webinar

5 09 2013

ellabakerLast night was the first night of the Brilliance Remastered Sistorian Webinar facilitated by Laguana (Elle) Gray and Alexis Pauline Gumbs!  After reading Barbara Ransby’s introduction to Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision we had an affirming and transformative conversation about what the technology of sisterhood teaches us about self-care, abundance and love.   Many of us remember Ella Baker’s statement (immortalized by Sweet Honey in the Rock) that “we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”  A few years ago while doing some research at the Schomburg Library in NYC I came across a letter from Ella Baker to a friend and comrade that made that statement real in more than one way.  Ms. Ella was explaining that even though her community was begging her to take a sabbatical and had even fundraised the money to allow her to do so, she could not “find the time” to actually take a break.   When I read that letter I saw myself and so many of the organizers, educators, activists and artists that I know, and many of us in the webinar have seen the people we love work tirelessly and unsustainably.   With this poem we begin a practice of modeling abundant presence and sustainable freedom for ourselves, each other and everyone who would call us sister.

We Who Believe in Freedom

(a remix for sweet Ella and all of us)

by the participants in the Brilliance Remastered Sistorian Webinar

 

we who believe in freedom rest

 

we who believe in freedom believe in the centrality of joy

we who believe in freedom believe in the transformative power of pleasure

we who believe in freedom believe in the transformative power of silence

we who believe in freedom cultivate the faith to be still

 

we who believe in freedom nourish our souls

 

we who believe in freedom nourish our souls with deep breaths

we who believe in freedom value our breathing over our reputations, our relationships over our resumes

we who believe in freedom believe that freedom is a personal practice

we who believe in freedom listen to our bodies and take time to release what does not uplift us

we who believe in freedom allow ourselves to talk back

 

we who believe in freedom TAKE NAPS

we who believe in freedom kiss ourselves and jump back smiling!

we who believe in freedom SING for no or whatever reason!

we who believe in freedom dance in our seats…

we who believe in freedom LOVE!

 

we who believe in freedom love ourselves like we love our little sisters.

we who believe in freedom forgive ourselves as a practice of compassion

we who believe in freedom practice the power to say no

 

we who believe in freedom don’t gotta do it all ourselves!

we who believe in freedom believe our ancestors are helping us.

we who believe in freedom remember and share the stories of our past freedom struggles

we who believe in freedom believe in each other enough to share power and responsibility

we who believe in freedom speak in love and cultivate honesty

we who believe in freedom actualize the transformative power of sisterhood

we who believe in freedom don’t have to prove it we just live it

 

we who believe in freedom REST

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(Does this make you want to sign up for the next Brilliance Remastered webinar?  Get the details here:   www.alexispauline.com/brillianceremastered/webinars/)


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