Resisting has always been a hard feat for me. I grew up around four headstrong siblings and, although I am pretty stubborn myself, it always felt more strategic to listen, wait, and stay calm. "An answer will come to you," I'd think. "Have faith," I'd coach. But what happens when that "cool" side of myself is surrounded by fire and blood?
Since I was very young, I always learned that before my time, the world was a violent place to live. I promised myself that if I ever had a time machine, I would definitely go to the future, not the past. I'm sure you may resonate with the question I'd ask: "Why would a black woman want to live in this past I just learned about? Hmm??"
Yet, everyday I am realizing that my world is just as violent as the former that I so sincerely fear.
Colonization, slavery, rape, patriarchy, exploitation... these words describe a way of life. These words also describe the flavor of air that we all breathe daily. I think in some ways, my 'cool' vibe is part of the mandate of that air. I am so used to the violence that my anger and pain is locked away, hiding somewhere within the fabrics of my spirit.
The framework, Resist, helps me to release fear to act collectively with those who love this world as I do.
This piece is about recognizing the alien nature of our systems, while also acknowledging the power of "the small ones." When we join one another, recognize our differences, and work together against our common enemies, nothing can stop us.
I hope that "Colonial Invasion" has inspired you to Resist with strategy and to practice restfulness in between actions.
Bevelyn is a member of the Collective's Leadership Team