Harriet Tubman & Women’s Month

With a life that encompassed many intersections, Harriet Tubman articulated a robust type of spiritual agency eloquently evident in her numerous walks between northern and southern United States to free as many of her people as possible. Tubman did what was considered the impossible, and became known as the Conductor – the most famous of freedom fighters on the Underground Railroad. Tubman’s Black, female, disabled body offered more resistance to enslavement and captivity than the society at the time could image or bargained for and her fierce determination to safe her own and the lives of her people made her a legend in her own time. Having lived a life of courage and audacious hope, Tubman passed to the realm of the ancestors at (+/ -) ninety-three years old. Tubman’s enduring legacy now inspires twenty-first century activists in their hunger for freedom from new manifestations of enslavement infrastructures wreaking havoc on the lives of African Diaspora peoples in and outside the borders of the United States.

Today, March 10, 2019,  on the 106th anniversary of Tubman’s death, African Diaspora  women everywhere  (and those who love, respect, and honor them) are invited to take walk to reduce and ultimately eliminate the clutches of early death that plague Black women in the United States and elsewhere.  Take a walk to reduce stress, cardio vascular diseases, cancer, auto-immune diseases, diabetes, mental health challenges, and isolation.  Take a walk to find your wild side, your labyrinth of peace, your inner divine, your way to Grace, your deep mission, your love for self and others.  Take a walk to hold the hand, heart, and/or peace of someone else.  Take a walk to find yourself, care for yourself, be yourself, to remind yourself that you and your community have spiritual agency and a fierce drive for freedom.  Join GirlTrek on their mission to have one million women walking by 2020.   It’s a matter of your life!

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This is not a drill.  These are not throwback pictures. These are real time photos from this weekend showing  women across the country using GirlTrek’s key tenant of changemaking – NEVER ASK PERMISSION TO SAVE YOUR OWN LIFE – as a rallying call to organize celebrations. and walks for Harriet Tubman Day, which traditionally has marked the kickoff of the GirlTrek walking season.

 

Black Religion

Among the things I consider urgent in 2019 the re-visioning of the ways in which the Black Religions and Black religious traditions respond to the lives, needs and concerns of of those most vulnerable in their congregations and in society as a whole.  Note: I hadn’t intended this to be my first post of 2019, but I had scheduled the post many weeks ago and quite literally forgot about it.  At the end of 2018 I posted the reflections of my friend Melissa as she journeyed through her annual 30 days of Thanks. Though Melissa had ritually  for years conducted similar journeys, she had always done so privately.  For 2018 she went public, sharing her journey with friends and making suggestions for financial activism.  With her permission I posted her journey, delivering a different type of public sharing than she initially imagined, but one in which she embraced.

Melissa’s journey is thought-provocation and riveting,  challenging notions of faith, religion adherence, and hope in brutally honest ways. In calling out the Black church and Black spirituality in contemporary society, Melissa challenged the Black church while calling on its legacy of resilience and hope in her work to move forward to build a better world for herself, her daughter, and her community of diverse fellows.  Simply put she is demanding a that the legacy that served to make her, serves to make her, and others who are of it, better.

I understand Melissa’s call.  For several years I have been in a spiritual research, learning ,and sharing mode, eking out deep knowledge from the backwaters of spiritual masters in order to help nourish the mammoth of spiritual waves necessary to heal and nurture a people in these times.    I have sat at the feet, tables, and in the pews of those promising to teach more than preach, question more than answer, build more that present.  And, I have attended conferences in which academic knowledge is matched with embodied inquiry and/or seek to explain or examine intersections of spirituality, The church, and Blackness. The March of 2018 Black Religions, Spirituality and Culture Conference at Harvard was one such conference.

In 2019 the challenge of putting the knowledge gained to work is at hand.  Not just for me, but for all those like myself who have been preparing, hoping, praying.  The time is at hand and the need is great.  My hopes of goodwill and kindness goes out to all, especially Melissa.