Tell My Horse, Zora Neale Hurston, 1938
Race and the Education of Desire, Ann Stoler, 1995
Feminism, Race and Adoption Policy, Dorothy Roberts, 2006
The Color of Choice: White Supremacy and Reproductive Justice, Loretta J. Ross, 2006
Law Enforcment Violecne Against Women of Color, Andrea J. Ritchie, 2006
The War Against Black Women and the Making of NO!, Aishah Simmons, 2006
Sistas Makin' Moves: Collective Leadership for Personal Transformation and Social Justice, Sista II Sista, 2006
It is time. Again. It is time to invoke that ever necessary soul soundscape of soul music for the soul searching that I'm up to. You don't know me that well if you didn't guess it was gonna be Me'shell. (That rhymed...though it didn't rhythm..thus my need for the soundtrack in the first place.) If I make Cookie, or Comfort Woman or Dance of the Infidel the soundtrack to my dissertation...do I have to write on beat? Do I have to break out of beat in some sort of Lordian insistence that the beat not go on? This question and more...
But the real question is still what does reproduction mean to Audre Lorde, to Dionne Brand, to the Combahee River Collective to the Toronto Black Women's collective. I am deciding that it does not mean procreation, meaning it does not mean the owning of black women's bodies by black men towards the ownership of nation. And it has something to do with information, with publication, with sensual love, with horizontal mothering and with youth. It has something to do with the erotics of making something.
So the definition of reproductive justice that Loretta Ross of SisterSong is helpful. Reproductive Justice means the name of the march has to be changed from "Freedom to Choose" in the strange white paradigm of abortion as choice, to the "march for Women's Lives" a holistic celebration of what we make (as opposed to what we own) an insistence on what we make (possible). And of course the object of my research makes one thing possible above all others...(to paraphrase stoler citing Foucault) me. These objects of my research make me possible...or at least I am framing them in a way such that they do that. And I can. Because SisterSong says that reproductive justice is big enough for that...is whatever it takes for the complete social and spirtual and physical and sexual and otherwise well-being of women of color to happen is what they mean by reproductive justice. And Sista II Sista says that we should dance and sing and poem our affirmation in order to develop our critical analysis against a system that tries to deny and degrade our very existence.
So this is the dangerous thing. The dangerous think is that women of color are creating, are creating, a creating and creating. Are creating movement. Our creating youth, are redefining what creation, possibility, even fertility mean outside of the mandate (or even the possibility) of owning. So it makes sense that Bill Bennet would advocate aborting black babies as a way to lower crime because what we make is a menace to society, is a threat to the state, is...you know what I'm saying. And it's not even a biological thing its an affective thing, (though Zora tells us that the female genitals are the voodoo truth of the mystery of life) it's about the education of desire, its about a pedagogy of love that is not ownership, it's about the space that we create. So OF COURSE as Dorothy Roberts explains the state aims to sever the sever the relationships between black kids and their mom's, the state's designs to take away black women's children from them as some indictment and testament to some naturalized (and we are responding) black woman bad-ass proliferation of other. (I'm not intentionally being interchagerific with "women of color" and "black women"...it's just that Roberts is specifically talking about black women in the US).
Anyway Ann Stoler tells us that this is not even so recent. During the (first) colonial white children or even the mixed children of native women, we described as at-risk because of the detrimental infectious influence of native women, and right now the UN warns us about the danger (I read this as potential for effective resistance) of the "youth heavy" developing nations all over the world. And as Aishah proves we are moving on a trajectory from rage to meditation to action to healing even rape will not stop us from creating the world beautiful in our own image. Anyway this is quick because I'm leaving the country and my girlfriend is serenading me right now...but...
Let's go. A world full of young people and the badass makings of women of color going wild and scaring the public we can't lose. So yeah..wanna make?