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Last night I dreamed of belonging to a rich and vibrant community. The community was comprised of many faces I’ve never before seen in my awakened state of consciousness and, thus, didn’t recognize. We, the community, were preparing, collectively, for a great transition. There was a sense of excitement; jubilation almost. I had the feeling that this transition would somehow be a vehicle to freedom. And it was; a literal vehicle, a tour bus the size of a small town. We were preparing to board it. I’m not sure where we were going. No one ever said. Once we were all on board the bus and watching the scenery through its windows whip past us, tension began to build, inexplicably, within our community. The tension peaked during some kind of group dinner. We were all seated at an extremely long-so long, I couldn’t see the end of it- table. I’m not sure if the food we ate was prepared by me or by my mom. I felt confused about that in my dream, as well. A man I was sitting across from spit in his food, which deeply angered me. I stood up from the table and proclaimed, loudly, that I would not allow him to disrespect my mother and demanded that he exit the bus. Everyone was silent. It was never explicitly stated in my dream but, somehow, I understood that asking someone to leave the bus wasn’t in alignment with our community’s values. This was a first. No one had ever been asked to leave. The man who sat across from me, initially unrecognizable, morphed into my mother’s brother; my Uncle Ken Ken, a sweet and good-hearted crack fiend whose addiction I know better than I know him. He stood up, packed his things, and left the bus. Afterward, the deafening silence remained.

The spirit of our community was plagued by exhaustion and sorrow. A woman that I met while Kristina and I were on tour, Shirley, sat in an armchair next to mine and leaned her head against my shoulder. She was tired. I was tired.

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That I’m Black informs my movement. My ability to literally ground myself in my own physical experience, in my own body is challenged by systemic oppression, by racism, by misogyny. Aspects of my own femininity, my own womanhood, my own sensuality have been stolen from me because, in someone like me, they are of no use to the oppressor.

“Are you feeling a little uncomfortable right now?” Our photographer asked me. And I knew that my trauma was showing. I knew that my shortcomings were evident. I knew that I was wearing, on my body, in my expression, all that this system has forced from my being.

For the past couple of days, I’ve been reflecting on all of the beautiful, necessary things my foremothers secreted from their bodies in their efforts to produce; to produce what our oppressor demanded, to produce what our men expected, to produce that which would protect our children, to produce the transformation of a legacy of Blackness that was shaped by white influence, white expectation, and white gaze and, somehow, nonsensically, made our responsibility.

“After I been at he place 'bout a year, de massa come to me and say. 'You gwine live with Rufus in dat cabin over yonder. Go fix it for livin'.' I's 'bout sixteen year old and has no larnin', and I's jus' igno'nus chile. I's thought dat him mean for me to tend de cabin for Rufus and some other niggers. Well, dat an start de pestigation for me.

I's take charge of de cabin after work am done and fixes supper. Hew. I don't like dat Rufus , 'cause he a bully. He am big and 'cause he so, he think everybody de what him say. We'uns has supper, den I goes here and dere talkin', till I's ready for sleep and den I gits in de bunk. After I's in, dat nigger come and crawl in de bunk with me 'fore I knews it. I says, 'What you means, you fool nigger?' He say for me to hush de mouth. 'Dis so my bunk, too,' he say.

You's teched in de head. Git out," I's told him, and I puts de feet 'gainst him and give his a shove and out he go on de floor 'fore he knew what I's doin'. Dat nigger jump up and he and. He look like de wild bear. He starts for de bunk and I jumps quick for de poker. It am 'bout three feet long and when he comes at me I lets him have it over he head. Did dat nigger stop in he tracks? I's say he did. He looks at no steady for a minute and you's could toll he thinkin' hard. Dam he go and set on de bench and say, 'Jus wait. You thinks it am smart, but you's am foolish in de head. Dey's gwine larn you somethin'.

Hush yous big mouth and sty 'way fron dis nigger, dat all I wants,' I say, and jus' sets and hold dat poker in de hand. He jus' sets, lookin' like de bull. Dere we'uns sets and sets for 'bout an hour and den he go out and I bars de door.

De nex' day I goes to de missy and tells her what Rufus wants and missy say dat am de massa's wishes. She say, 'Yous am de portly gal and Rufus am de pertly man. De massa wants you-uns for to bring forth portly chillen.

I's thinkin' 'bout what de missy say, but say to myse'f, 'I's not gwine live with dat Rufus .' Dat night when him come in de cabin, I grabs de poker and sits on de bench and says, 'Git 'way from me, nigger, 'fore I busts yous brains out and stomp on den.' He say nothin' and git out.

De nex' day de massa call me and tell me, 'Woman, I's pay big money for you and I's done dat for de cause I wants yous to raise me chillens. I's put yous to live with Rufus for dat purpose. Now, if you doesn't want whippin' at de stake, yous de what I wants.

I thinks 'bout massa buyin' me offen de block and savin' me from bein' sep'rated from my folks and 'bout bein' whipped at de stake. Dere it am. What am I's to do? So I 'cides to do as de massa wish and so I yields.”

What did it mean to be a Black woman in 1793? When your being, your body, your sexuality were simply the means of production? Didn’t serve you, but were actually your enemy? Weren’t vessels through which you could consistently experience pleasure, but instead betrayed you; constantly, perpetually? The white man’s law declared that there would be no more slaves across the border in 1808. And what did that mean for you? What was seen as politically humane, a step toward abolition meant for you that the master would force himself on you a few more nights per week, that he would force a Black man, his slave, to fuck you because, together, you could produce little Black babies that would grow his estate, grow his wealth, and perpetuate your own oppression. It meant that you would work your fingers, your arms, your legs, your heart to exhaustion with a protruding belly, swollen feet and lashes across your back. Love did not belong to you. Sex did not belong to you. Motherhood did not belong to you. You didn’t belong to you. Submission meant the forfeiture of your womanhood and submission was your reality.

Nineteen sixty one and freedom will be mine; My body is weary and my smile is slow. One, two, one thousand steps to the doctor’s. Laying down for this white man like my grandmother did. Except this time is different. This time massa means me well. I’ll be cured of all ills and will bequeath none upon my offspring; That way he can tenant farm for Massa and work for damn near free And maybe vote. But, alas, my eyes peel open and the doctor is done. Won’t be no offspring.

What did it mean to be a Black woman in 1961? When your lashes became bruises left by the fists of white men who would not risk a second, nor a real emancipation. When your womb became a war zone and your future children didn’t stand a fighting chance against white supremacy? When visiting the doctor for a procedural cyst removal meant sterilization, but never relief from the incessant mothering you owed as fealty for the color of your skin; for being on the wrong side of perpetual greed? For, it was up to you to mother the movement, to mask the stench of decaying bodies hoisted throughout the south as both decoration and demonstration, to be a symbol of hope for the Black man’s future-but not necessarily for your own. Democracy did not belong to you.The future did not belong to you. The dirt cheap labor you produced to cushion America’s perfect, seemingly rock-solid economy would never benefit you. You would never have children of your own; even if you birthed them.

“I’m not in love. People see Robyn with me, and they draw their own conclusions. Anyway, whose business is it if you’re gay or like dogs? What others do shouldn’t matter. Let people talk. It doesn’t bother me because I know I’m not gay. I don’t care.”

“You know what? I am so tired of this. I’m really sick of it. People want to know if there is a relationship: Our relationship is that we’re friends. We’ve been friends since we were kids. She is now my employee. I’m her employer. And we’re still best friends. That’s what it is. You mean to tell me that if I have a woman friend, I have to have a lesbian relationship with her? That’s bullshit. There are so many, so many female artists who have women as their confidantes, and nobody questions that.”

“People out there know I’m a married woman. I mean, what kind of a person am I-to be married and to have another life? First of all, my husband wouldn’t go for it-let’s get that out of the way, okay? He’s all boy, and he ain’t goin’ for it, okay? But I’m so fucking tired of that question, and I’m tired of answering it.”

What did it mean to be a Black woman in 1992? To trade the love of your life for a man your family could accept and the record label could sell? To make decisions about your body, your heart, your womb, and your womanhood that had nothing to do with your happiness and everything to do with your ability to produce for the white men who circled you like vultures, feeding from your talent and basking in a light that only she whom they banished could replenish? To have no one ask of your desires and to watch those who claimed to love you become seduced by the luxury the commodification of your spirit afforded them? To die because you could not, you could never be free?


“Cardi gained some weight in this picture. Lose the dead weight sweetheart its slowing you down.”

“Your album was trash. Your music sucks. You didn’t deserve shit. Go back to being a STRIPPER.”

“Go away please. You’re making ghetto people proud to be ghetto.”

“The hips look nasty.”

“Well iamcardib just when everyone gave you much respect for your comment about Trump! You probably just lost more than half of those people. Wondering what you’re going to teach your daughter.”

“I love Cardi as an entertainer but this is just degrading. Ladies show off your mental talent more than your sexual ones. Let’s put some respect on our names.”

What does it mean to be a woman in 2019? To be left unprotected by a faux-heroic feminism that never considered misogynoir? To continue to collect the check anyway?

“Are you feeling a little uncomfortable right now?” Our photographer asked me and I felt ashamed before I could catch myself. I felt ashamed that she could see what I inherited from the women who lived before my time. I felt ashamed of the toll my proud lesbianism has had on the perceived legitimacy of my pro-Black platform. I felt ashamed of the sex I’ve had with men that left me confused about what, exactly, women are supposed to take from sexual experiences. I felt ashamed of the sacrificial mothering the self-erasure I engage in on a daily basis in the name of Black liberatory struggle. But I am uncomfortable with being found responsible for my body’s dysfunction. Generational trauma is an obvious culprit and a given impediment to the accessibility of my own womanhood.

How outrageous that I should expect myself to know how to be femininely, sexually, or sensually free knowing that this sacred knowledge has been intentionally kept from me?

How outrageous that I should expect myself to, in an instant, heal a disconnect so deeply rooted in my heritage that it spans hundreds of years?

How outrageous that I should expect myself to truly lean into freedom and fluidity even as I find myself vicariously moist with the divine feminine wasted, replaced by conditioning that forever dictates Black womanhood’s manifestation.

There is nothing to do but reclaim my sex and my womb, at my own pace, in my own time.

There is nothing to do but celebrate, for all of the world to see, the light filled love I have been blessed to find in a Black woman with whom I will never reproduce human resources for the oppressor to exploit; to wield against us in our war for liberation.

There is nothing to do but proclaim my body, my demonstrative sensuality a gift to myself, to my community, to the universe I inhabit.

There is nothing to do but reject the idea that I must disprove the world’s ideas about Black women, that I must focus on anything other than dismantling the system that stigmatized my existence, my sexuality, my being, my motherhood.

I have a duty, a responsibility to my ancestors, to live my life as a wildflower would, thriving beyond boundary for the rest of my life; healing the fissures left in the innumerable spirits housed in my heart, with hands on my head, and with breath in harmony with mine that could not be treated in their lifetimes.

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Girl. Thank God it’s Pisces season and I’m not just saying that because a real goddess’s birthday is in two weeks. Nah, actually, it’s in all of our best interest to embrace Pisces’ reign and bask in this hopelessly romantic position of the sun. This is an especially important time for aspiring revolutionaries.


Well, for one, we’ve finally reached the end of this brutal ass winter. Y’all know how it is. For organizers, winter can be so depressing. Grants dry up around November and funds don’t start flowing again until March. Individual donors focus less on social responsibility and get caught up in the frenzy over Thanksgiving food, Christmas presents, and Valentine candy that is reinforced by the very capitalist system their donor dollars could have been divested from, if only they’d seen the plot. It is both ironic and unfortunate that this is almost always a harsh time for systematically oppressed communities. Housing insecurity and homelessness are even more difficult to navigate when temperatures drop and shelters over crowd as a result. The psychological and emotional trauma of poverty is exacerbated by the assaults on self worth and human dignity that the hyper materialism of the holiday season perpetuate. Needless to say, the Rebel Alliance’s morale is understandably low in the face of the Galactic Empire’s stolen jedi mind tricks. (Uh Oh. Did this just get too Blerdy for you? Sorry.)

Astrologically, it’s been quite a stimulating stretch, with Sagittarius season ushering in the results of the midterm elections and making clear just what was in the stars for our newly elected officials. Sagittarius season also saw a Texas judge strike down the Affordable Care Act. We experienced a frenzy of organizing, a deep push for as many resources; human, financial, or otherwise as we could accumulate. Sagittarius season is a time of hyper consumption so we went for broke, stocked up as much as we could, made the most of what momentum remained from pre-election efforts and gritted our teeth in preparation for resource and inspiration bare Capricorn season. For 400+1, Sagittarius season rung in the end of The Feed the Movement Hunger Strike, and after consuming only water for 10 days, we definitely lived up to the Sagittarian legacy of indulgence. Have y’all tried Souley Vegan in The Bay? Biiitch.

Anyway, with Capricorn season came the Winter Solstice and things were looking bleak af. We’d maxed out on supreme court hearing confirmation protests and voter registration drives. The Venezuelan crisis popped off, the U.S. government shutdown, and the Tornillo internment camp saga trudged on. But, being that the sun was in Capricorn, we put our noses to the grindstone and decided that there was no use in feeling sorry for ourselves. You know, we wouldn’t want the filthy rich accusing us of not actually being systematically oppressed, but simply too lazy to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. It was a time for us to get our collective shit together; to focus on the tried and true organizing methods; monthly meetings, good old fashioned canvassing, and community programming. Optimism was sparse because Capricorn season is all about taking a long, hard look at what actually is; not at what might be. Since Pisces are all about dreams, fantasies, and miracles, my poor little spirit was quite tortured during this time. If it wasn’t for my Virgo rising, I’m not sure I would have made it through with my crown still intact.

Of course, life spiced right back up during Aquarius Season; with public school teachers setting it the fuck off in Los Angeles, Haitians reaching their breaking point and demanding both a presidential resignation and the establishment of transitional government, and the attack on Jussie Smollett exposing the deep divide within Black, queer, organizing communities who are still figuring out that legitimizing police narratives and throwing our own away aren’t revolutionary practices. It was a time for invention and ingenuity and our minds were ablaze with potential solutions to the hyper pragmatism, resource deprivation and fragmentation that plagued us during Capricorn season. Members of 400+1 were truly possessed by the ingenuitive spirit of Aquarius, channeling our L1 energy for our photoshoots and remixing ancestral knowledge in our study and event planning sessions. Black Sovereign Nation’s Farming for Black Freedom Presents Insurgent Learning: Resistance As Revolutionary Praxis was a product of the brilliant and intentional exchange in which 400+1’s Ministers of Cohesion and the Minister of Subversive Agriculture engaged during the sun’s penultimate stop on the zodiac.

So, what do we do with all the political baggage we took on during indulgent Sagittarius season, with the residual emotions evoked by systemic oppression and repressed during Capricorn season, or with the myriad of new ideas that seemed almost divinely communicated during the season of Aquarius? We feel through them. Pisces is a mutable sign. Its season marks the end of Winter and the gradual transition to Spring. Pisces’ mutability is not only informed by it being the last sign the sun shifts through during the winter, but also the ultimate sign of the Zodiac, ending the astrological year and symbolizing closure, deep reflection, and newly acquired wisdom. Because it’s the last of the zodiac, a shadow of each of the eleven signs that come before Pisces is reflected in its season. We ride an Aquarian fueled high into Pisces Season on February 18th and boldly wave our goodbyes to the period of emotional rejuvenation on March 20th. During this period of time, organizers will feel led by their feelings, their humanity, and their empathy. Intuition reigns supreme during Pisces Season, so go with your gut instinct and follow the natural rhythm of the universe as you navigate the high drama currently characterizing the political landscape and organizing community. Everyone around you will be highly emotional and slightly irrational, which is not a good look for revolutionary strategists. This is a moment to slide into a soothing silence and search, internally, for wisdom to inform the new organizing strategy you so brilliantly developed during Aquarius season. You need to ground yourself in your own spiritual truth and presence, juxtaposing what your soul tells you to what your mind did and making sure you’re headed in the right direction. This is also the perfect time to look for yourself in all of the conflict you were faced with over the year. We all know activists be beefin’. Were you, subconsciously, in your feelings and subtly contributing to the madness? This is the month to find out. That’s what’s so special and healing about Pisces season. All of the vibes from the past astrological year will crop right back up for you to process and acknowledge. The revolution will not be emotionally repressive.

Give yourself time, now, to move through the spiritual impact of revolutionary struggle. This war is fought on so many planes and in so many realms. Allow yourself to experience a whole and uninhibited emotional response to the pain and trauma you’ve experienced, a soul-deep acknowledgement of the authentic relationships you’ve built, and a truly ecstatic celebration of your hard won triumphs. This is a moment for you to be emotionally and spiritually fed by your own attentiveness. Feel yourself deeply. Who are you as an organizer now that that’s all said and done? Who are you going into Aries season and the beginning of the astrological year as? Give yourself the emotional space to really see and know that person.

Pisces season isn’t a time for tangible progress or a transformation of the material condition. It is a time for a transformation of the emotional and spiritual condition. Focus your organizing on the acknowledgement, affirmation, celebration, and healing of the oppressed. Center art, music, creative release, and cathartic discussion in your efforts. This will ensure that when the bold culture of Aries season blows through, you’ll have a base of folx aligned enough with themselves and their communities to pursue a healthy movement for Black liberation.

Use this time to channel the explosive passion of Nina Simone, Audre Lorde, W.E.B. DuBois, Miriam Makeba, Marian Anderson, Elaine Brown, and even Auntie Toni (Morrison, that is). All of these ancestors and elders leveraged a deep understanding of Black folx’s spiritual and emotional condition to contribute to the struggle for universal liberation. Nina, with her music, DuBois with his Pan-African ideology, and Toni Morrison with her spiritually resonant writing.

Connect to and seek the guidance of Yemoja and Olokun, the Orisha of complementing water, fertility and birth energies; Olokun representing the depth of your emotions, the part of yourself that is seemingly unreachable and Yemoja representing those feelings that are lively, apparent and abundant.

Aries Organizers The Aries sentiment during Pisces season is “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” but it’s important that you prioritize your own emotional well being, even if it feels a little out of your comfort zone. Enjoy the season right before yours by simply resting. You will be one of the sun signs least impacted by this Pisces season and might be a little annoyed with all the folx interested in getting right with each other and themselves emotionally while you’re trying to remain grounded in what’s tangible. Let go a little bit and learn what you can from what’s happening around you. Lean into the discomfort by finding stillness and observing the emotional process your community is engaging.

Taurus Organizers On the gang! This is the season for you to pull up on your comrades and work collaboratively. The emotional and intuitive Piscean vibes will inspire deeper connectivity within your collective or organization. Lean heavily on those connections to build broader community in preparation for the spirit of mobilization you’ll experience during Aries season.

Gemini Organizers They punish the people that’s asking questions. And those that possess, steal from the ones without possessions. The message I stress? To make it stop, study your lessons. Don’t settle for less. Even the genius asks his questions. Be grateful for blessings! Don’t ever change. Keep your essence. The power is in the people and politics we address.” -Tupac Shakur This season, your emotional self is synonymous with your creative self. This is the perfect opportunity for you to think through what your endgame contribution to revolutionary struggle is. What do you dream of dismantling? For some reason, your dreams are super relatable to those around you. Share them and watch your community’s capacity for mass movement grow as your ideas radicalize its members.

Cancer Organizers As a water sign, you are supremely unbothered by the volatile emotional tide that Pisces season brings to your shore. In fact, this Pisces season will spark a major spiritual glow up for you. You betta claim your softness! Use your magic to facilitate healing and growth among those in your collective, community, and movement who remain emotionally and psychologically stagnant. Feel confident making big changes, if you are so lead. Your intuition is on point this season.

Leo Organizers Neither the splash, the drip, nor the sauce will disguise the vulnerable space you’re in this Pisces season. Give yourself the time you need to reflect on the intimacy issues that have surfaced throughout the year and decide how you feel about them. Are there changes you want to make to the way you share space with other organizers? What does relationship building look like for you? Now is the time to figure all of that out.

Virgo Organizers As recently evidenced by Florinda Bryant’s maestrapiece, Black Do Crack! You need to acknowledge the toll the work is taking on you right now, in this moment. You can’t wait until next year, next month, or next week for a break. Start engaging in self care now because it’s becoming evident to those around you that you’re pouring from an empty cup. Not only that, but it wouldn’t kill you to use this season as an excuse to relax a little in your engagement of political struggle. Recognize the humanity in the folx you organize with and for. People are people and we all have limits. Focus a little more on relationship building and a little less on performance and results. Though it’s a good time for you to give your relationships a little more attention, don’t expect it to be easy. We began Pisces season with a full moon in Virgo so this is a time when your true feelings about the people with whom you work, live, resist, and rebel will come to light.

Libra Organizers Girl, get it together! You’re getting off easy, Libra, because life is moving too quickly for you to stop and process. You’ve said yes to too many canvassing shifts, too many panels, and are juggling too many campaigns! You won’t be ready to process your feelings until you say no to the community just this once and say yes to yourself. Not to get too hotep-y, but seek out some knowledge of self and cater to your own needs, accordingly.

Scorpio Organizers Buss down, Thotiana. This Pisces season will definitely have you in your feelings and I do mean romantically. The #fuckboi force is strong with this one and there’s no point in fighting it while Piscean eroticism is in the air. This is super fertile time for you, Scorpio, so unless you’re ready to #BirthBlackBabies remember that safe sex is great sex. Better wear a latex. You don’t want that late text. That ‘I think I’m late text.’ Also, this is probably a good time for you to set some boundaries. Many collectives, communities, and movements have been compromised because of sexual energy gone left. First and foremost, make sure you have consent and that the object of your desire reciprocates your feelings. Secondly, have honest conversations about where romantic exchanges are and aren’t going. These are folx with whom you’ll still have to organize once things have cooled down and the chemistry has fizzled. Lezbehonest.

Sagittarius Organizers “To the Ancestors!” Pisces Season is a great time for you to hole yourself up and read about pre-colonial Africa, about resistance to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, about the indigenous folx who were original stewards and guardians of the land that exploited Black labor aggregated and industrialized. It’s a good time to be inspired by all of those who came before us. You’re going to feel a little off this season and that’s okay. With a little ancestral guidance, you’ll feel better in no time.

Capricorn Organizers Base build. Base build. Base build. Capricorn, you got the juice! People are responding very well to you this Pisces season. Leverage that popularity to engage your community in addressing the issues that affect them. You are going to be pushed to communicate a lot more this Pisces season. You might be invited to speak. There might be a huge influx of new folks at your collective’s meetings. You might have to engage the media a little more than you would normally. In these situations, don’t lean on anything other than your own intuition, Cap. Trust yourself because it just so happens that what you have this season is exactly what the revolution needs.

Aquarius Organizers Girl you workin’ with some cash, yeah. You bad, yeah. Make the oppressor spend his last, yeah. He trash, yeah. Police frown when you pass, yeah. They mad, yeah. Apply for all the grants this season, Aquarius. Do some digital fundraising. Push your local government to divest from its police department and fund your programming, instead. Somehow, Pisces season is your time to collect big fat checks and big large bills (maybe ride his/her/their dick in some big tall heels?) Just don’t forget that Black capitalism ain’t never saved an oppressed soul. Keep it playa and invest those dollars in alternatives.

Pisces Organizers Shawty, you the shit. Wrap yourself in self-love and appreciation, Pisces! You made it another year and you should be proud. You’ve grown so much and, this season, all of that growth will manifest in a blossoming that does your vision justice. It’s been a tough road for you as an aspiring revolutionary, Pisces. You’re so married to the future that sometimes it’s tough for you to muster all that’s necessary to transform the current material condition. Happily for you, now is your opportunity to throw yourself into dreams and visions of the freedom to come for the marginalized and the oppressed. It’s time to reflect on your evolution as an organizer and create silence and stillness so as to receive feedback from your higher self, the ancestors, and whomever/whatever you regard as God. Allow yourself to feel without responding. Don’t talk. Just listen. *Jodeci Voice* This is your season and you know better than anyone that when magic is afoot, it can be just as important to allow yourself to flow through that energy as it is to allow that energy to flow through you. Enjoy your solar return, Beautiful Human, and trust that when your time in the sun comes to a close, you’ll know which dreams to manifest and what spells to conjure next.

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