This week I am revisiting a post that I wrote in honor of Juneteenth to offer space for nourishment and care in coping with the news that none of the police officers responsible for Breonna Taylor’s death were indicted or held accountable for shooting her to death while she was asleep in her home.
When a system designed to exploit and oppress affirms that mechanism, although it is not necessarily surprising, it does have a visceral impact on the body that can show up in numbness, rage, exhaustion, despair, etc. We need to attend to that impact and harm by engaging in practices that are collective rather than exclusively individual as this is a collective harm for all beings.
Forms of Healing
*Watch and rewatch (In)Visible Portraits, an incredible documentary, which feels like a love letter to Black women
*Resources for Black Healing by Micalah Webster
*Radical Care Check in & Resources by Lissa
*Spend time outdoors. See what it’s like to receive the warmth of the sun, to feel the wind touching your skin, to sit in the grass for a moment and allow yourself to be held by the earth. Visualizing yourself in a safe space in nature can be of support as well.
*Envelop yourself in The Nap Ministry’s message and encouragement of taking refuge in rest as a form of resistance
*Recognize signs of Racial Battle Fatigue, a term coined by Critical Racial Theorist William Smith explored in this article by Morgan Taylor Goodwin. For more specific guidance for Black people on this topic, consider reading the book Black Fatigue by Mary-Frances Winters
*Read the book My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem as well as this article and podcast with Menakem which features some of the principles and practices from the book. Consider exploring the book and its practices in a small learning with supportive people of a similar racial background as you.
*Time in supportive community for processing and to connect with those who can hold space for your experience fully. Consider Black and BIPOC groups and Liberate Meditation app created by and for Black community.
*Song, humming, music, clapping, drumming…
*Movement, dance, swaying, shaking, rocking, walking…
*Self-holding and loving somatic touch. For example, Body-Settling Hold for working with racial trauma as demonstrated by @twinpowerment
*Nourishing foods and hydration.
*Notice when you use language like “I am not enough,” “I am too much,” or “I don’t deserve to take care in this way” as these are often forms of internalizing oppressive narratives.
*Remember: You Matter. You are enough. You are worthy of care. You are worthy of love. You are worthy of joy. You are worthy of liberation.
*Receive and offer yourself loving affirmations. Notice when you internalize messages from a system that was never meant to protect or serve you. Check out A Black Lives Matter meditation offered as a form of love, care, and affirmation by Lissa
*Journaling and writing.
*Rituals for grief and love.
*Call in the support of loving ancestors.
*Space for weeping and letting go.
*Unplug and take social media breaks.
*Celebrate. Practice with gratitude. Connect with laughter. Reclaim joy as a form of liberation.
*Avoid energy-draining activities like teaching folx who are committed to being racist and committed to racial gaslighting about anti-racism. Instead share with them resources like some of the ones below and save your energy for where it can be more impactful.
Resources to offer folx who are still early in the anti-Black racism learning process:
*158 Resources to Understand Racism in America by Meilan Solly article
*Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus by Catherine Halley
*Scaffolded Anti-Racism Resources by Anna Stamborski, Nikki Zimmermann, and Bailie Gregory
*Black History Resources by Charles Preston
*The First Time I Realized I Was Black video series
*10 Ways Organizations Can Show Up for Black Lives Without Exploiting ‘Black Lives Matter’ article by Sunshine Muse
*Anti-Blackness in non-Black POC is a Colonial Trauma Teachings by @ogorchukwuu
*One Love Sangha Social Justice Resources by Lissa
Remember radical care is social justice. May you find space for rest, love, and care, dear ones.
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