Words That Matter and Inspire Me Now
There are so many words to say today (in the midst of insurrection in the United States), but I want to share some words from adrienne maree brown.
brown’s blog post this morning—what is unveiled? the founding wound. (poem/directive)—speaks to my soul. It speaks to festering wounds and the need to name violence and to break white supremacy: “denial will not disappear a wound.”
I hope you’ll read this blog post in full.
Along with this blog post, I appreciate this social media post from adrienne maree brown, which reads:
Why and How Words Matter
Words matter in many ways, and they matter through our relational responsibilities. As educators, as parents, as mentors, as colleagues, as aunties, as writers, as storytellers, as neighbors, as reporters, as organizers, as witnesses, as curators, as creators, as communicators.
Words matter because they name the world. They shape our understandings and capacities to act. They can inspire and fuel us, obscure and do harm. They can lift emotional weight or weigh us down. Wear us down. Tear us down. Words matter.
Today, I’m noticing again how whiteness circulates in words used and in the absence of words (in complicity and silence, in refusing to listen and refusing to tell truths). So, to white colleagues, I’m asking again: Let’s invest in rehearsing how to speak up imperfectly. Let’s dive into the fears that block courageous words. Let’s read adrienne maree brown’s blog to understand the stakes. And let’s bring attention to which words are used and not used and how those choices have consequences.
We need sustained investment in truth-telling—in recognizing and responding to white supremacy in ourselves, in our interactions, and in our systems. We need words for reckoning with the festering wounds of the U.S. nation-state: so deeply rooted in white supremacy, settler colonialism, capitalism, heteropatriarchy, oppression. We need words to rise up for justice—to express visions and longings loud and clear. Again and again and again.
Longing for Words That Matter
May we amplify words of the Movement for Black Lives to name white supremacy and ongoing terror in the United States.
For, our humanity is so lost, so ruptured, and for many of us, so stolen and denied … We need to call it back day by day, act by act, word by word.
This post is written by Beth Godbee, Ph.D. for Heart-Head-Hands.com.
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