On Black Girls and Pleasure

Waaaaay back in 2008 I wrote a blog post in the summer time, right after we learned that Erykah Badu was pregnant with her little bear about the fact that Black women’s bodies do not belong to themselves.

Looking back I realize that I was inspired by the fact that that in public people feel entitled to touch our hair and our bodies, and in private our families and loved ones feel that they have say so about our hair texture (nappy vs. straight, or re: going natural).

So. This brings me to this morning when I finally figured out WHY I am writing about Black women’s sexuality.

Saturday, I got no work done. Nonya. This was the first time this year where my schedule got completely upended.

Last semester was on #Aquemini Saturday. My boo’s do be my muses. o.0

Rather than go to read and write on Saturday morning, we drove to Balitmore for brunch and that shit was luxurious.

Then I slept. Then we went to the movies.

Granted, I was behind as shit on Sunday, because so many chores didn’t get done.

So this morning, I was saying that I wanted to GO BACK to Saturday; It was impromtu and fun; it felt like a vacation.

Then Goldy turned around and called me greedy. I was like, “I am greedy because I want to hang out the you and not be running 5011 errands for two or three hours straight?” “I don’t think it’s greedy, I think I am being a human being.” She got my point.

It was in THAT moment that I realized why I have been writing about and invested in Black womens sexuality and the social and economic forces that shape how Black women make sexual choices at home and in public.

Many of us are told by our mothers that all we need to do is “work” because “you can do bad all by yourself.”

When many of us were little, language is used with Aunt’s, Uncles, and grandparents to discourage them from giving us stuff or being nice to us otherwise we may get “spoiled.” Spoiled food is rotten and inedible.

All of this leaves me with a few questions.

Out of a desire for our mothers to protect us, and make sure that we have tools to deal with a fucked up world, did they make Black girls and pleasure two mutually exclusive categories?

Did our mothers socialize us to run away from pleasure?

Does enjoying pleasure mean being “ruined”? Ruined for who?

Why are the boys in our family not talked about in the same way?

Are the boys in our family ever described as being “spoiled?”

Does it have the same meaning when it is used to describe girls?

#ChangeJobs #ChangeGods

A few weeks ago someone on Twitter said, women make friends at the club so easily. “Girls make friends so quickly. Yal be in the club “Hi you’re pretty, i’m pretty. Lets be pretty together…”

In the name of all things #VurnerableyFearless.

Two weeks ago, I was hiding, hiding from a spirit when I met Goldy. (@afrolicious has so aptly reminded me, you can’t hide from spirits. She ways right in ways I don’t think she is aware of.)

Well, it didn’t quite go like that, I was out marinating, it was spring break and as usual I was being my normal little talkative self. And I started chatting, we had things in common and I was like cool, she could be a new running buddy. Black girls can always use a homie who is down to do little artistic marination in the streets. Art shows, brunch, boom bap functions, indie films. Especially after I get through this long stretch of April that has both my bosses like come correct or don’t come at all.

So we go to brunch last weekend and she says after we have been sitting there talking a bit, “Are you seeing anyone?” I was like OH SHITRecord scratch. In my head of course.

I said, um, yeah, a few people. #Allhonesterrything. No one has broken away from the pack yet, though.

It was then that I put two and two together and realized I was being hit on.

Mind you, she is fahn, funny, a filmmaker (#Jesusbeafence) and grown. Meaning she garnished my Blue Moon with a blood red orange last week. #Nom to the #Nom.

The chemistry was defiantly on that helium balloon, but she is team earth sign, so she be on the ground, slow and driving my in the air ass out of my mind. Like come on, the air is way quicker than the ground. But I can stand to learn to sit still sometimes. <<< Admitting it.

However, I did have had to tell her, that if and when we are out, and people come at us side ways, I am AM going to say something because I take my right to be in public serious. #Nodomination.

That I assert my right to be treated like a human being when I am out by myself means I am sure as hell going to do it when we are together. I also mentioned that she is a little, ahem, smoother around the edges than I am, meaning I am little bit more confrontational and extroverted. But you know what, it is what it is.

And speaking of domination. I would say that the lack therein is one of the coolest aspects of chilling with her. I mean, it just be easy. It is in these moments that I have really become aware of how navigating patriarchy on that day to day adds another layer of labor to human social experiences. Furthermore, its clear that it simply doesn’t have to be this way.

I am not saying that women are NOT patriarchal. In fact, I contend that Black women can be some of THE MOST patriachal people that I know. What I am saying is that meeting someone with similar politics, politics that shape how we treat each other means that I don’t have to spend time “teaching” folks not to touch women without their consent. Its needed and I am grateful for the opportunities, but its work honey.

I am not sure what will happen, but I have spoke my piece and listened to her and we will take it from there. I will say that two things happened yesterday that got me blown. First. She brought me tulips. I was like dang. She beat me to it. But, I think perhaps, just as, or perhaps even more telling is seeing a copy of Leroi Jones’s Blues People on her bookshelf last night. See, Blues People holds a special place in my heart because I have felt for the last few years that it was my job to write the contemporary version of the book. But putting a late capitalist spin on it and adding a gender critique as well. I even had beef with Jay Smooth about Blues People last year. I suggested that he read it in a tweet. o.O I be serious about my Blues People. Her copy of the book had highlights and notes in it boo. #Kindablown.

Love and change are always possible?

Thoughts?

You ever be out with someone and you think its neutral, then they be like BALOW!*!#(@*, are you seeing anyone?

On Spirit and Other Things

The information that you find will change you.

The day started with a conversation with Bacon Grits where I confessed that he and I are different from most people in that we don’t rank human beings hierarchically, meaning that we treat people with a base level of respect. I also told him that I appreciated him. Rereading something I had written online I realized how he held me down. It was nice to hear is voice.

I also learned some information about a lady friend and how she moves. I am not sure what my next step will be, but what I have learned is that I value my relationships with women more so than with Love bears. Love bears come and go, sisters are forever.

I walked into the study spot yesterday and I heard someone say my name. I turned around and Davey D grabbed me so hard he lifted me off the ground. He is my friend and colleague and we rarely get to see each other. He also reads my blog now, so we were able to kinda just pick up the conversation. #Creepybutawesome. We had a conversation about how he reads text books critically now. Its cool to watch a person become politicized.

I spoke with an old friend who is working on a short film about Black women and not only does she want me to be involved but she wants to base a character on me #nomichaelrappaport. Lol. I am excited. I just saw a rough cut, and can I tell you how awesome it is to see Black women on the screen simply doing them.

Perhaps most significantly I have decided that my rules of  engagement may be changing slightly. I remember @moyazb telling me that her homie asks people “where are you on your spiritual path” and I remember being like, thats kinda bugged. But nearly two years later I get it.

I ran into Aquemini yesterday. Can I tell you how creepy it is to know that you are going to see someone, then actually see them. He was kinda blue. And I shared with him how I was writing in my post about serenity not having anything to do with dough or material possessions. He was reflecting on some past choices and he was pensive and I can dig that. Honestly though, I am going to fall back, not because the desire isn’t there on my end, because it is, but because my spirit is telling me to. I saw and felt some things last night that kinda got me like woah. Time will show me what I need to see, until then, Imma fall back.

In some ways I grew up yesterday.

When was the last time you got new information?

Did it change you?

When was the last time something happened to you and you realized you grew up a little bit?

Frying Pan into the Fire….

Image Courtesy Allison Achauer

Well.

Today, I graded papers, made a mid term spread sheet and emailed it on time. Phew.

Spoke to my college roommate (first person I EVAR shared a room with) and told her I had NO idea how she went to graduate school for a Ph.D at 22. This shit is hard enough as old lady rap. It was nice to hear from her. She is defending in May, and she is going to send me her dissertation introduction and wants to collaborate on a project in the future. Win.

Today I saw the storify for Moya + Lex’s panel  Blackgirlsarefromthefuture x Octavia Butler at CESA, which I was suppose to be in Cali for. The storify had me blown. I was happy to see people be so interested in something we were talking about nearly a year ago. The room was packed. As (young)scholars we often work in isolation so to share the work and have it be appreciated goes hella far.

This evening, I played an awesome game of chess, where I realize I am now thinking two steps ahead AND I used my Rook and my Bishop together. The thing about chess is that its ALL process and I like that. Being trained to be a historian…I have to be into process. Process and context is really what it all comes down to.

Tonight I had a moment of serendipty where I walked out and SD walked in and I kept it moving, based on his facial expression, much to his chagrin, he he he.

Then I walked into the spot and there was Aquemini.

From the frying pan into the fire.

We ain’t spoke. And thats cool. Life happens, but the issue is that I reached out Thursday, and he didn’t respond and then I got an explanation tonight.

Black girls are from the future so they know they are a choice and not an option.

My feelings were hurt and rather than say that, I stayed for minute, spoke with my girl, used the rest room, didn’t see him and bounced.

My mind went to “What would the rook do?”

You and I both know that matters of the heart are not no daggumit chessboard, even though chess principles can be useful in terms of thinking things through.

I left him a message, and left the door cracked.

Courtbear, my dating coach said two things. First, she said, I be expecting people to do things the way I would do it. And she is right about that, and I am working on it. Second, she said people have to learn how to treat you, that it isn’t innate. I am not going to lie, this process is work honey. But the pay off is that  a Lovebear doesn’t to guess about what allcity likes.

Honestly though blood, I had to process that shit with the quickness, because I have hella work to do tomorrow, and even though I am certainly entitled to feeling my feelings, the outcome isn’t mine.

I realized that I fucked up when I wasn’t honest. I was neither vulnerable nor fearless and it shows.

What ever he did or how HE responded wasn’t any of my business. Looking back there really wasn’t space to have that conversation and you KNOW I am a space bear.

Resolved. I just needed to say my piece, and keep that thang clean. If I don’t keep the path clean then I won’t receive my gifts. AND I love the gifts, especially the human ones.

Energy Conduit.

Speaking to @afrolicious tonight she was like “Dang Gina, you went from furstration to acceptance just like that” and commented that it was probably because I am air sign. I was like how does that figure? She was like “You all  process quicker.”

Two things helped me to go from being angry to acceptance to forgiveness. First it was remembering that accepting people where they are and asking questions makes my life way easier.  That plus, no assumptions. No manipulation. Second was remembering that other peoples actions are none of my business. Nunya. That I need to have the courage to say how I feel and be honest. And so long as I do that God will take are of the rest. Boom.

I also have hella work to do tomorrow and I know that that work must get done and  if  I needed to dance tomorrow, then so be it. When I dance I am free. Boom.

What do you do to feel free?

When was the last time you went from the Frying Pan into the Fire?

Why is it that people who make your heart go thump thump, make your life extra hard?

Aquemini’s Helium Balloon

The last time I chilled with Aquemini, Green Eyes said being around the two of us is like being in a helium balloon and boy was she right.

After I left him yesterday I felt like I had Coltrane withdrawals, what every that fees like. However, it was nice to be able to just be myself around someone.

He did what he does, which his hold court and entertain, but in the midst of all of that nothing gets past him. Its bugged to be out with someone who see’s as much as I do.

#Intensemuch?

He kept saying, being out with you #allcity, is like being in a movie.

This is coming from a man who picked me up and walked out into oncoming traffic on 14th and U. o.O

At one point he was making bets with a young White cat on the likelihood of the last digit on the serial number of a dollar bill being above five or below five. The outcome of the bet would determine who would buy all of our brunches.

At another point we were at Davey’s a lounge doing way too much.

We are both similar in that we recognize the spirits in people, we just do it differently. He does so by speaking, to nearly everyone. I do it by recognizing that everyone has a right to be who they are. And intervening when it appears that it is not being recognized.

No se sponge bob. The outcome ain’t mine, but I would be lying if I didn’t want to run and hide or make a demand sometimes.

Oh, speaking of Sometimes, why I learn that that the first Bilal album was his top three, this is of course after I told him I woke up with Bilal’s Reminisce on my byrd two weeks ago.

Hot air balloons be fun, but when you go up, you got’s to come back down.

I need to be careful what I ask for, because I just might get it.