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Shamari Reid| June 4, 2018

to go back follow the Queen

Dear Black love,

Though I have suffered indescribable pain and witnessed an endless series of inhumane torture,  I’ve also tasted the sweetness of love and been awakened by the aroma of hope; And I’ve enjoyed immortal conversations with my elders- conversations that transcend time, space, all five senses, and Eurocentric conceptions of life- and it is because of these truths and memories that I am compelled to continue.

I must keep on.

We must fight.  

Allow me but a moment to share with you that when I was in communication with our ancestors, I heard the harmonious melodies reminiscent of a revolution. I learned that our foremothers were Black love. That I am Black love. And We are the highest expression of love in human form.

Black people, we cannot give up. The resistance cannot stop at the mere recognition of our plight. We must use all this as fuel. We must  transform it,  just as those before us engineered soul food by thinking purposefully and blackly about how they could fashion such scant proportions of scraps into something that would nourish their bodies made of and with love, and simultaneously sustain their iridescent beauty, boldness, brilliance and souls.  Culinary magicians who made something outta nothing. Yet another manifestation of Black genius. One more Black Eternal Enterprise.

Magical but real.

We would do well to not forget.

Black struggle is real. Oh, It’s so damn real.

But so is Black Agency, Black Ingenuity,  and Black Imagination. And Radical Revolutionary Black Love.

Though we belong to a group of extraordinary people that historically has been distinguished by hardships, disadvantages, and vulnerability, endemic to this group are also cosmic levels of  strength, courage, wisdom, soul and love; And this country, no, whiteness, wants us to forget the latter.

You see, the project of white supremacy isn’t chiefly one of indoctrination. It is not solely concerned with cajoling us to subscribe to the dangerously flawed belief that we are inferior, rather it is an invitation to forget.

To erase.

To whiten.

To disappear us and our love into the miasma of racial discrimination.

Whiteness, for long, has been preoccupied with cleaving us from our memories of Black love and freedom.

It is an invitation for us to un-remember that we love ourselves more than they hate us.

Let us remember that we are love.

And within our racialized bodies love abounds: Black Radical Love.

May our memories of  freedom prove indelible.

Shall we never forget that we are unique in our capacity to love that which hates us;

Our ability to blacken love into action. activism.Revolution.

Let us remember.

Let us remember that we are Black love.

The same love that BlackQueer Folx pour into ourselves publically and without shame, despite everything we have been taught regarding our identities;

The same love Black Women draw upon to perform the feat of  contorting their beings as to become bridges and structures to carry and advance a world that refuses to say their names;

And the same love that protects Black youth from the (mis)education system comprised of prison prep schools as they wade through misdirected criticism (and absent acclaim) for creating pop culture and envisioning a world more free- a world not enveloped by the furor whiteness has introduced into our precious realities.


In the words of Cynthia Dillard, “let us remember the things that we have been taught to forget.”

We are the fullest expression of love in human form.

We would do well to not forget.

With Black love,


to go back follow the Queen

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