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SAL/UER Videos

Racism and the Collapsing Society, Barbara Love and Tim Jackins, June 7, 2020

RC Webinars listing through December 2022

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“Being Visible with My Voice”

When I heard Sandra Bland’s strong and courageous voice on the tape,1 I could hardly feel anything but frozen numbness. In sessions since, I have been able to notice the grief and the fear. At BLCD 2recently, in almost every session, I discharged on being visible with my voice and on the recordings3 that had come in. So I write this to acknowledge Sandra Bland’s and all Black women’s stand against racism, sexism, and male domination and to say that I will keep fighting through this material.4

Ironically, I think my first posting to an RC e-mail discussion list was to this women’s list some years ago, after attending a Southern women’s workshop. The depth of my fear about putting my voice out was evident (and surprising and shocking to me) when after pressing “send,” I grabbed my head with both hands and screamed, “I am dead, I am dead!” I have a bit less fear today. But writing this has taken some discharge and some wonderful encouragement and counseling from my class of people of the global majority, who wanted to hear my voice on Sandra Bland and wanted me to share it. I went from “I have nothing to say” to “I do and I will.”

My mom’s fears led her to train her daughters to be quiet. She was worried about our safety if we were too “uppity,”5 “sassy,” “out of line.”6 We grew up during segregation time in the U.S. South, in Georgia, and she witnessed firsthand how important keeping a low profile7 was to Black females at that time.

I will keep discharging, and being visible with my voice. 

Marion Ouphouet

Seattle, Washington, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail
discussion list for leaders of women


1 Sandra Bland was a twenty-eight-year-old African American woman who was found dead in her jail cell in Waller County, Texas, USA, on July 13, 2015, after being arrested for a minor traffic violation. Videos recorded on the arresting officer's dashboard camera and a bystander's cell phone revealed the violent, mean-spirited way the officer had treated her, and how she had spoken out against it. 
2 The International Black Liberation and Community Development Workshop, in Massachusetts, USA, in July of this year
3 Distress recordings
4 "Material" means distress.
5 "Uppity" means arrogant, presumptuous.
6 "Out of line" means inappropriate.
7 "Keeping a low profile" means avoiding attracting attention.

 


Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00