Love Letter to My #Kinship2016 Family

To My #Kinship2016 Family,

Have you any idea how overwhelmed I am at sharing this space with you all and being in solidarity and in community with such a beautiful group of people, beautiful Black people representing the many layers that make us who we are? Have you any idea how I honored I am to be in the midst of Black excellence? The love that I am feeling is literally permeating throughout my entire being with force so great that I can feel tears swelling in my eyes and running down my face. Tears of joy and happiness quickly accompanied by laughter and smiles. This space is an affirming space, an inclusive space, an equitable space, a radical space, a revolutionary space, a space centered in Black love beyond borders. The complexity that is Blackness is so well represented and fiercely respected. I am seeing freedom, I am feeling freedom in this space. In your words, voices, laughter, tears, chants, songs, movements…I am seeing what our liberation will be and it is so damn beautiful.

The beautiful colors of our flags representing our many nations. All skin tones (gloriously melanated), all heights, all shapes, all sizes, a sea of Brown eyes, a sea of kinks and curls. Kreyol, Spanish, Patois, French, Amharic, Portuguese, and several other languages flowing through full beautiful lips…taking on that familiar cadence of Black languages and rhetoric. Garifuna, Ethiopian, and Nigerian cuisine consumed with konpa playing in the background. Tattoos, nose rings, sneakers, African prints, t-shirts (reading Abolitionist, Straight Outta Africa, Black Love Beyond Borders, Black Lives Matter, etc.)…folks coming as they are, comfortable in their glorious skin. Queer, Trans, gender non-conforming, undocumented, disabled, working class, formerly incarcerated. This space, an unfurling of the multiple identities housed in Black bodies throughout the world.

Look at us. Look at how beautiful we are. Look at how wonderful we are. Look at how much we love each other.

This is, for real, Black Love.

Family, as we leave this space, hold the magic of this convening in our hearts. On the days that are rough, on the days that are exhausting, on the days that bring us to the point of existential crisis…recall the magic of this space, take time to take care of yourself, and once you are whole, continue doing the much needed and much appreciated work that you are doing. Remember that this is kinship and it is genuine and loving. Remember to reach out when you are in need of love, affirmation, and/or assistance. Many of us are only a phone call, text message, or Facebook message away.

Thank you all for being your whole selves and allowing me to be in community with you. Remember that if ever you need me, if ever I can help you in your work, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

You are all in my heart and soul in the best way possible ❤

Love and Light,

Nana

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