The Feminine

This Is How I Honour And Support Black Women

Last week I wrote a blog post taking a stand for the black movement and for the black women in my community.

I used the phrase “Black lives matter. Actually, all lives matter.” without knowing that this is part of the collective offence and injustice.

I want to bring my sincere apologies for my lack of education and for the wrong use of language.

As part of my apology, I want you to know…

That I have never lived in the United States (just worked and travelled) and during my life I have never been consciously exposed to the collective injustice and trauma of the black people.

I was born and raised in Eastern Europe, in an ex-communist country. I have witnessed many forms of injustice. But I’ve never been exposed to black racism in particular.

No, this is not an excuse. And my intention is not to portray myself as an innocent person. It is rather the entry point of my personal and organisational involvement with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The feedback I received from you educated me. It made me feel humble and forced me to take action.

Consequently, here at The Feminine, we took the time to do our work and educate ourselves into the patterns and outcomes of white supremacy and racism against black people and against indigenous people. The latter is something that I have been exposed to and feel a lot pain around the issue.

What opened up for us, both individually and organisationally, was how insensible and oblivious we were. This realisation made me experience the rage, the pain, the offence of the black people.

Therefore, I began to understand how my unaware and superficial approach fed the systemic racism.

It is time for the black people to receive the attention, the support and the honour they truly deserve. What’s happening today will become the turning point of the healing of this collective trauma and hopefully the birth of a system that can bring justice to the black people.

To start with, these are the steps that we took to support the black movement.

Resources

I started to educate myself on the topic, by using the following resources:

Maya Angelou – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

A powerful autobiography, describing the early years of American writer and poet Maya Angelou. A coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. A must read.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

The extraordinary story of Malcom X, his fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream. An extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time.

Angela Davis – An Autobiography

An out of the box memoir of an out of the box woman. Definitely worth reading.

A People’s History of the United States

A comprehensive history book where historian and political scientist Howard Zinn portrays a side of the American history that can largely be seen as the exploitation and manipulation of the majority by a small group of elite rulers. An academic approach.

Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery 

A prominent clinical psychologist, Na’im Akbar gained fame during the 70’s when he published his first critiques of the Eurocentric psychological tradition, asserting that this model maintained the intellectual oppression of African Americans. Definitely an interesting perspective.

Music

I have listened a lot to these albums lately, to help me connect to the spirit and legacy of black musicians.

Ella Fitzgerald, Back The Kife: Ella In Berlin

Aretha Franklin, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You

Tina Turner, Tina!

Alicia Keys, Element Of Freedom

Donations

I have donated to:

Pretty Brown Girls

Founded by Sheri Crawley and her husband Corey, Pretty Brown Girls empowers girls of colour, through education and through encouraging self-acceptance by cultivating social, emotional and intellectual well-being.

I deeply encourage you to read more about how Sheri and Corey started this organisation here. The story highlights how cultural representation works, affecting us all, through fostering separation and bias.

Sister Song

A non profit organisation facilitating reproductive justice trainings and workshops.

On a personal level

I have also created a daily ritual in which I stood with the collective trauma and the field of pain, injustice, cruelty, entitlement and abuse of power directed towards the black people.

I felt it, observed it and I breathed with it. And I will continue to do this as part of my personal growth process.

As of now, I will consciously and humbly hold space for black women to tell and heal their personal and collective stories, in the Sacred Circle and in all my programs.

As a facilitator, I face trauma every day – personal, sexual, emotional and racial.

And what I’ve learned from interacting with trauma, for so many years, is that it needs respect and presence.

When we gather the courage to face our pain, we can move mountains.

My commitment to you is that I will not shy away and I will take responsibility personally and on behalf of the white people in my organisation. We will create a safe space for you.

Also, I will listen and allow you to educate me, as part of growing into my ability to hold space.

I am imperfect and I will make mistakes. But I am willing to show up anyway, make amends, be better and walk my talk in this matter.

On an organisational level

I brought up this issue with my team and we took the time to evaluate who we are in this matter. What we stand for and how we choose to show up as an organisation, to support the black movement.

We stand for creating a safe space for the black women in our community, in all our programs and Sacred Circles.

A safe space where your voice and brilliance are heard and honoured.

At the same time, we are creating professional opportunities for black women in our organisation. We stand by them and empower them fully.

Also, we humbly open up to be educated by black women, black leaders and teachers in matters of systemic racism and separation and do whatever is required to honour the black movement and take the right action.

So, please feel free to email me and start sending me the feedback that makes you feel seen and heard. I would be immensely honoured.

For the black women in my community

Feel free to educate me and email me directly on the black movement and share your personal story.

You can always write to me (if you feel safe enough) and share what has come up for you and what you need to process around the black movement. This is a very important moment, but it can also feel overwhelming. I want you to know that you can count on me to listen sacredly.

For the Caucasian women, Asian women, Indian women and Hispanic women

Please let’s take the time to breathe in the Sacred Circle for our black sisters. Let’s support them to receive the right attention, the honour and the respect they so much deserve.

This space, this Circle, this platform is centred around the experience of love, honesty and spirituality in a real and tangible way.

Yes, we choose to stand for multiversity, equality and inclusiveness.

And this is a great moment that calls for our Sacred Hearts to breathe and heal together.

In sacred sisterhood,

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