Making Art Move

Book Mo/Biblio Guagua event at the Portola Branch Library, July 2015. ©2015 Sibila Savage

The Moving Art House

By Christine Joy Ferrer

On board the 5.5 Mile Road House, participants play Porto-Lotería, a game made by Connell and Melara about the Portola District. ©2015 Sibila SavageBlanca Gotchez Melara remembers it well. The potent fragrance of basil, black melons and geraniums adorning Nativity dioramas in her hometown of Santa Ana, El Salvador.

The Nacimientos or Nativities were never just Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus but a more elaborate arrangement of clay, wax, wood, metal, fabric, and beads depicting the Christ birth. The main focus was the replication of a whole town with three-dimensional illustrations from one’s daily life in a variety of scales, symbolizing one’s connection to one’s environment relative to the Nativity. The dioramas could include, among the biblical scenes, figurines of women making tortillas, farmers milking cows, vegetable merchants, even waterfalls.

One day, the fresh scent of basil leaves in her garden made Blanca relive those memories. So, with the help of her son Oscar Melara and Kate Connell, cofounders of the Moving Art House, Blanca set about building a Nacimiento at their house in the Portola, integrating her own life story. She began shaping her life story—her work as a teacher and the move from her village to California—with clay figures, along with scenes of the three kings and their steeds. She even crocheted a diaper for the Baby Jesus.

Blanca’s project started in 1996 but even after she passed away, Connell and Melara kept the tradition alive by inviting friends to come over and create their self-portraits and other scenes in clay every year until 2006. They created simulations of a skyline at sunset with pink and yellow lights and cotton balls for clouds and angels. Angels hung above Blanca’s memorial. Blue lights and tons of fabric set the backdrop with a few animals and many candles. To date, Melara and Connell have collected over 300 of these creations in clay in boxes stacked to the ceiling in their closet.

This is how Connell and Melara’s living art union and cultural community work began.

The Moving Art House
It’s a mobile cultural space featuring dynamic programming that represents Southeast San Francisco and its multicultural working-class neighborhoods. Launched in July 2015, it’s a space where the community can see each other’s cultural and creative works and connect with one another. The original exhibition ran from December 4, 2015 to March 31, 2016 at the Portola Public Library as a public art project by Connell and Melara (Book and Wheel Works) in collaboration with Richard Talavera and the Mexican Bus. Photographer Sibila Savage documents the Moving Art House and fills its exhibition panels with her images.The Nite Life mural mounted on the side of the Mexican Bus for an event at El Toro Night Club. ©2015 Sibila Savage

“Our neighborhood is just so rich and really undocumented,” says Connell. “Our goal is to establish a cultural identity and a neighborhood visual vocabulary that appeals to everybody. We welcomed as many people that were willing to be involved in vetting [Moving Art House]. But it’s not about isolating and or making our neighborhood ‘precious.’ We want to foster conversations about commonalities in this historically working-class part of the city and build our resilience. There are many different parts of our common culture that we need to identify, protect, strengthen and then see ourselves, so we can be in dialogue with it.”

The Portola Public Library is at the heart of the neighborhood’s cultural life. Throughout the year, Book and Wheel gave out booklets at the library acknowledging different aspects of the Portola and its history. One graphic novel told the story of two women growing up in the neighborhood 50 years apart: Bonnie, in the 1940s, and Shirley who is now in her 20s. Shirley’s parents were both from China, but met in Hawaii. Her family owned a liquor store in the Richmond district where, sadly, her father was shot.

Melara and Connell, both from San Francisco, have lived and thrived in the Portola district for about 20 years and have been creatively investing their hearts and souls in this community. They are, in a sense, real life superheroes serving their city. It may not be Central City, Star City or Gotham… but southeast San Francisco is their Metropolis. But unlike comic book superheroes, they give their community tools to save themselves by facilitating artistic neighborhood projects to engage and activate the community.

On the 5.5 Mile Road House tour aboard The Mexican Bus (, which took place on September 19, 2015, parent advocate Mildred Coffey and Yensing Sihapanya, associate director of Portola Family Connections, and some other speakers, explained: “Southeast San Francisco is filled with innovation and creativity. An equal distribution of educational and arts activities are necessary for southeast San Francisco to reach its full potential.”

Moving Art House has brought together dozens of artists from the Bayview to the Excelsior, from Bernal Heights to Ingleside and the Portola—musicians, composers, poets, and visual and performing artists—to create new work that’s presented on The Mexican Bus, at sites in the Portola District.

“We performed for 30 minutes at the Portola Public Library… a multicultural performance reflecting the diversity of the neighborhood, by and for fellow artists, poets, photographers, and kids from the Portola,” said Saichi Kawahara, leader and founder of the Kapalakiko Hawaiian Band, about their Moving Art House project. “Through stories, mele and hula, we were able to touch and warm the hearts of the many people gathered there that evening. We even received several requests for ukulele lessons. It’s really nice to perform our schtick in fine concert halls and venues, but I prefer to perform here because this is where the most exciting musical action is located.”

For this project, collaborators from southeast neighborhoods worked together to build a united, vibrant cultural life experience for their communities. In response, hundreds of neighborhood residents and other San Franciscans took part in its growth, learned about the history of the Portola and enjoyed living culture at three Moving Art House events:
(1) Book Mo/Biblio Guagua block party with the Portola Public Library; (2) Nite Life with El Toro Night Club on San Bruno Avenue; and (3) 5.5 Mile Road House which traveled to vistas high in McLaren Park.

A Rich History Brought to Life
Each event presented historical knowledge through games and generated diverse exchanges and cultural immersions that harnessed community solidary and creativity.

Book Mo/Biblio Guagua was inspired in part by Biblioburro, a mobile library on the back of a burro led by his owner, teacher Luis Soriano, to children living in the remote hills of Colombia. Participants each received their own “design your own adventure” copy of the Book Mo Book, a silkscreened book that could be personalized with text or drawings. On the Mexican Bus, you could play Portola Cootie Catcher, read handmade books about the neighborhood and build live stories. Visitors calligraphed Chinese poetry in sand. Las Hermanas Pena-Govea played and sang. Dr. Jose Cuellar blessed the day with a five directions benediction. Food from La Placita, Fancy Wheatfields Bakery and Ling Ling Restaurant filled bellies.Book Mo/Biblio Guagua event at the Portola Branch Library, July 2015. ©2015 Sibila Savage

“It was wonderful to see young and old alike thoroughly engaged and fascinated by all the activities—calligraphy, bookmaking, printing, music, poetry, art, guagua, story-telling—something for everyone in the community,” said Elena Andrade, a participant. “[Connell and Melara] thought of everything. So much thought, heart, imagination, and collaboration.”

Nite Life celebrated Southeast San Francisco and El Toro Night Club’s 80 years of musical history. The sounds of the ukulele, guzheng, accordion, mandolin, sax, bass, and flute resonated from the stage. On board The Mexican Bus, you learned about the musical history of the Portola District—live Klezmer in the 1920s, to Maltese music in the 1930s, to recorded music by Frank Sinatra and Perry Como in the 1940s and ‘50s, to Latin Rock in the 1970s, to present day Banda music. Book and Wheel Works created a five-panel mural on canvas window shades and a game that reflected this musical history. Of course, music by Banda Universal, El Toro’s house band, and dancing filled the bill. Dr. Loco and La Familia Pena-Govea played “Adios Angelito” to honor Alex Nieto who was shot by the police in Bernal Heights in 2014.

San Francisco’s Hop-On Hop-off bus tours may have the most comprehensive coverage of popular tourist areas like the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf, but they are woefully lacking when it comes to presenting San Francisco’s historical and cultural context.

5.5 Mile Road House Tour
We boarded the green Mexican bus, the “Iguana,” near McNab Lake for the 5.5 Mile Road House Tour, hitting various vistas in McLaren Park of interest to artists. McLaren Park was the site of the incredible San Francisco Artist’s Soapbox Derby in 1975. On board the bus, rounds of Porto-Loteria, a game designed by Book and Wheel Works, were led in Spanish, English and Mandarin. Porto-Loteria images depicting the Portola, its history, community heroes, flora and fauna, and cultural traditions were lined above each window of the bus.

We travelled past Alemany Island up to the La Grande Water Tower. Although I’ve lived in San Francisco most of my life—specifically Southeast San Francisco—I had never been to this place. As I meditated on the cityscape from La Grande Water Tower, I saw the Ingleside/Lakeview district where I grew up. I realized that I had only travelled between points A and B within a 5-mile radius in all those years and that opportunities like Moving Art House can expand our boundaries and bring awareness to the undocumented areas that truly breathe life and bring a rich culture into all of San Francisco. Without these communities, there would be no cultural foundation to San Francisco. Later that day, I shared my experience of working on creative projects in the Excelsior/Ingleside district and heard about other people’s projects in Visitacion Valley and Bayview Hunter’s Point.

The Moving Art House is Book and Wheel Works’ third public art project in the Portola and it grew out of the other two. The first, Portola at Play (2009), was a collaboration with filmmaker Gustavo Vazquez and musician and composer John Calloway. The second was Crossing the Street (2010), an artists’ book reference collection for the Portola Branch Library. Book and Wheel were also commissioned to do a project in Havana, Cuba, for which they designed a map showing the organic farms in the neighborhoods around Havana. It could be folded into a book, and posed questions like, “What would you preserve for the future?”

Connell and Melara’s Porto-Loteria was made for Portola at Play and eventually served as the base design for the panels created by Portolans for Alemany Island, a mural site at the gateway into the Portola district. Forty-four households, three classrooms and one firehouse were involved in painting the Alemany Island panels. People in the community personalized the murals they created, made suggestions about how the game should be played and decided on all the images, how they should represent the neighborhood.

“People were insistent, ‘No possums, only skunk,’” Connell remembered, laughing.

In an art room of her home, Connell organized a chronological masterpiece, documenting some of Book and Wheels projects over the years for me to see. My favorite piece was called Looking Up: Portola Skies, digitally printed on silk. Each page of the book depicted a San Francisco skyline layered one on top of the other. With just the right amount of sunlight, you could see through them all. Some pages had inspirational quotes in Chinese, Spanish and English.

I left the room asking myself: How do I continue to help sustain our evolving city?

“It’s not just about the Portola. It’s about communicating our shared heritage in San Francisco and protecting our place. Making our nutrients so rich, they can’t afford to take it away,” says Connell. ♦


Kate Connell (Book) and Oscar Melara (Wheel), collaborating as Book and Wheel Works, map edge neighborhoods—especially their own Portola District—document working people’s lives, make murals and produce collaborative cultural events. They create intimate libraries, often of artists, and books for public use. Their handmade games engage fellow urbanites with humor and play in order to discuss the possibilities inherent in our shared environments. Connell is a librarian who worked for many years at the Galeria de la Raza. Melara co-founded La Raza Silkscreen Center and served as a driver on public buses. They have collaborated for more than 20 years, twice receiving the Creative Work Fund and participating as invited artists in the 11th Havana Biennial. Christine Joy Ferrer is the designer and web producer for Reimagine!, contributing editor to RP&E, and founder of EO MVMNT, Media + Design,


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"We want to foster conversations about commonalities in this historically working-class part of the city and build our resilience." -Kate Connell


By Maketa Smith-Groves

My mind has a landscape that could not form

anywhere except America.


This is the Diaspora

the vastness in my soul

like an African desert

forever roamed:


This Detroit memory of

my father’s

twelve gauge blasting

away wall/and blood splattered rats

my father’s rage that he could not prevent

this horror/this poverty/cleaving


Mississippi mud and

KKK raids



Shooting rats late at night

rats the size of footballs

scampering over sleeping bodies of

siblings and I

this profound rage and

desecration by the rats

(for sleeping children are sacred ground)

filled me with my father’s rage


I have raged ever since.

Maketa Smith-Groves is a native of Detroit, Michigan, lived in California for many decades and currently divides her time between the U.S. and Europe. This poem is excerpted from her new collection of poems, Class Encounters, published by Freedom Voices (


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Mujeres Mágicas

Illustration from Gloria Anzaldúa’s “Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers” from This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color.The Power of Storytelling and the Right to Write


By Karina Muñiz

Who gets the right to write? To share stories with the world in written form? To create fictional characters or a poem, to take us back to a memory, once buried, through a scene that awakens the senses? I often ask myself that question as an MFA student in creative writing at Mills College. Maybe I ask this because I’m also the political director at Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), a Latina immigrant and worker rights base-building organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. My worlds seem far apart from each other as I drive from our office in the Fruitvale district filled with people involved in participatory workshops and campaign organizing to the gates of Mills with its quiet walkways and manicured lawns.

I’m learning a lot about prose, sharpening my craft and developing as a writer. As a Community Engagement Fellow, I have not only been given the opportunity to attend school, but also the ability to share the power of la palabra (the word) and storytelling with women with so many moving stories to tell who may not get the same access and privilege of a formal writing program.
For six weeks, I taught a creative writing class to friends and colleagues at MUA, mostly women leaders of the immigrant rights movement. We began each class with ceremony, bringing a gift for the altar that reflected our intention for writing. On the first day of class we read Gloria Anzaldúa’s “Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers” from This Bridge Called my Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. This letter, written 36 years ago and not long after I was born, contains all the reasons why I write.

 “Who gave us permission to perform the act of writing? Why does writing seem so unnatural for me?” Anzaldúa asks. “How hard it is for us to think we can choose to become writers, much less feel and believe we can. What have we to contribute, to give? Our own expectations condition us.” Anzaldúa reminds us—radical women of color—of our right to write what has been miswritten about us, our right to make ourselves. Her call is clear: “Write with your eyes like painters, with your ears like musicians, with your feet like dancers… Write with your tongues of fire.”

In the creative writing class, we let our tongues of fire unleash and we laughed, cried, and surprised ourselves. The stories ranged from childhood games with a neighborhood burro, to the painful passing of that friend who saw and understood, to the teacher whose shaming left indelible scars. Other times the stories were about life in the maquilas, bodies on the side of the road during the war you prayed were not family, the grandmother who rocked you to sleep at night, or how you held your child close while the helicopters flashed bright lights from above.

“There are things that have happened in our lives that we are learning how to tell,” said class participant Lulu Reboyoso. “This workshop has allowed me to look inside myself to give birth to my own creativity. Through the writing exercises we wrote out our memories of happiness, pain, frustration, and learned to take in our surroundings. The writing released things that were painful for me and we finished the workshop knowing that we as women, immigrants and Latinas can write. We are artists filled with creativity and much to say. And instead of others writing our stories about what happened to us, we are writing with our own voices.”

Maria Hernandez said, “I came to the workshop feeling insecure that I wouldn’t be able to write my own story. But being in this space, it was easier for me to be able to express myself… it allowed our writing to come from our hearts. I didn’t believe that an immigrant woman without a formal education could call herself a writer or a poet. I was impressed with myself and this discovery of my own ability to express myself. I can tell my own story and did so in front of a group of people who didn’t really know us. We showed the audience, while our stories are not easy to hear sometimes, you can learn a lot more about us.”

On our final evening last summer we showcased our work at Laurel Bookstore in downtown Oakland and we closed the class the same way we opened it, by reading in Spanish excerpts from the letter Gloria Anzaldúa wrote to all of us. In unison we declared: “I write to record what others erase when I speak… mujer mágica, empty yourself. Shock yourself into new ways of perceiving the world, shock your readers into the same.”


To Live in the U.S. You Need...
By Mujeres Unidas’ Writing Workshop


Self-worth, strength, power, reasons, circumstances, necessities, assimilation,
    resilience, bravery
Balls to blindly try and achieve, and imagination to mask the solitude
Hope, desire to better the conditions of our community
To breathe, dream, have a voice, worthiness, courage, work, love, papers
Desire for a better life
Courage, desire to get ahead in life
Solidarity with other communities so we can unify and fight together
Strong lungs, a sea of tears, sweat and strength, and a heart that can break and
    resuscitate in one deep breath
To be around family, have pictures of my loved ones,
and have no fear of the police when passing a checkpoint
Strength to leave your home
Desire to give your family a better life

To live in the US you need...
To leave children, to cross three borders
To hug your dreams, practice acceptance, and have an open mind
To know why and for what you are here
To believe in the worth and strength of principles

To live in the US you need...
To have a car so everything can be done faster and easier
A job to pay the rent
To pronounce your name in a Gringo way
To communicate your feelings and value the feelings of others
To not feel the pain of not belonging
To hold onto the stories of your ancestors
Mexican music
To speak Spanish at home
To integrate yourself and to understand the convictions of others
To feel safe, and be able to support your people,
for an American dream

Karina Muñiz is the political director at Mujeres Unidas y Activas. She has worked for over 15 years as an organizer and activist for racial and gender justice, household worker rights and immigrant rights, as a Xicana ally.

Thanks to Cherrie Moraga, Patricia Powell, Carolina de Robertis, D’lo, Claire Calderón, and Amanda Muñiz, and to the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA) network (Elmaz Abinader, Sara Campos, David Maduli, Susan Ito, and Tara Dorabji) for sharing curriculum ideas and support for the project, and to Luan at Laurel Books.

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“There are things that have happened in our lives that we are learning how to tell,” —Lulu Reboyoso.

Rysing Womyn: Art. Activism. Transformation.

Cat Brooks. Courtesy of blog.oaklandxings.comBy Cat Brooks

My entire life has been dedicated to art and activism. As a racially-mixed child from a broken home full of various substances—I could have ended up anywhere. But in 4th grade, fate landed me in the classroom of Ms. Barbara Gerhardt. I was angry. I was troubled. I was a disturbance in the classroom. Rather than throw me away—as happens to so many Black and Brown young people in our schools—Ms. Gerhardt found a way to channel all of that misdirected energy into something else. She directed me toward a local theater conservatory. My course was set.

The theater became my refuge. It literally saved my life.

Simultaneously, I was growing up amidst living room conversations about war, sexism and race in a racist, segregated town that let me know I was a “nigger” at every turn. I watched my mother get arrested at actions; sacrifice her life to the struggle. My mother taught me how to fight back, to value resistance.

What this has meant for my life is a deep commitment to the arts, an overstanding of their power to change, heal and save lives, and a passion for the intersection of art and social change.
Rysing Womyn is the manifestation of that intersection.

The Idea
Rysing Womyn works with the women that society is prone to throw away: the angry, the rageful, the sad, the traumatized, the oppressed, the exploited.

When we first conceived of the idea, my co-creator Anna and I had never worked with the commercially sexually exploited (CSEC) population before. We had experience working with youth in juvenile halls or schools, but this would be our first foray with young people who had either been, or ran a very high risk of being sexually exploited. And to put things into perspective, our program was based in Oakland, CA—the Number Two city in the country for trafficking. Among other things, Oakland is known for its ostentatious real-life pimps, major motion pictures about even flashier pimps, and celebrated pimp-tongued rappers, who have made our “tracks” famous for catchy rhymes and hypnotic beats, obscuring the reality behind the tracks in the process.

Anna and I had a lot of preconceived notions about what teaching these classes would be like. We entered into the process with a set schedule, a plan and a performance date. We learned quickly that was a mistake. Working in this environment, with these girls, meant being flexible and responsive to the sometimes highly dramatic and emotional situations which arose. In addition to teaching theater, we needed to be a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to listen.

Sometimes, the entire class became about one young woman who simply needed someone to hear her. Other times, we taught classes where just one girl showed up, or where we had more girls than we knew what to do with!

The Rysing Womyn curriculum uses political education as a tool of empowerment and theater exercises and journaling as tools of creative expression to help girls and womyn find–and utilize–their voice. We offer a megaphone to amplify voices that society drowns out with judgment and condemnation. We unearth their stories and provide a platform to tell them. We arm young womyn with the truth—about their history, strengths and power, interrupting the dialogue of “you are not enough” or “you don’t belong.”

The Work
Class consists of grounding and meditation, followed by an introduction to a political or artistic figure they can relate to. We have covered everyone from Audre Lorde to Assata Shakur. We want them to see themselves in these giants and know that they can aspire to be their own versions of these womyn.

Following the grounding, we read a poem or listen to a song. We analyze the lyrics and words, identifying the pieces that resonate. We have spent a lot of time with Maya Angelou’s Caged Bird. When have they felt like a caged bird? What does freedom feel like? That is the writing prompt. Don’t think. Just write. Don’t judge. Just write.

Next, it is time to get up and do improv exercises in which the young womyn create scenes related to their writing, performing for each other. We have a segment on police brutality where we learned about Natasha McKenna, Guadalupe Ochoa and Kayla Moore—women who look like them who were murdered by police. There is often no room for women in society’s conversations about police brutality. While Black and Brown women–especially these women–know they are walking targets for law enforcement, there is little room for them to sit in their fears and share their experiences.

The group closes with a check-out. The work can be traumatic, triggering feelings, fears and flashbacks. We find ourselves asking: How are you? Who needs extra time? How can we support the internal work you were so courageous to push through today?

Each class ends with a bonding exercise–their favorite is “pass the pulse.” A circle of strong Black womyn, holding hands passing the energy around and around and around.

 It’s pure beauty when these young womyn walk into the room every week. Laughing. Cussing. Fussing. Playing. Ready to work. Happy for this refuge.

It has been an incredible journey with ups and downs. There is one young woman, the youngest in the group. I only know bits and pieces of her story. I remember her first day. She wore her rage like a fashion statement. Long, red nails. A perfectly painted pout. She didn’t want to be there. She had already done these exercises. She didn’t want to talk about her feelings.

But she came back.

Little by little, she came out of her shell. Writing. Performing. Wearing her pride now like a fashion statement. Showing us the cute white sweater and perfectly ripped jeans she bought that day with her case manager.

Then one day—she went there. Out of the blue, this guarded girl suddenly became an open book. Pouring out her story, gritty detail after gritty detail, after painful moment. It was a breakthrough; we had earned her trust.

The Learning
We were not prepared for the impact it would have on her. We’re actors and teachers. We hadn’t thought about the fact that she had to go home with all of that, to an environment that didn’t support her and people that couldn’t be bothered. The next week she showed up, triggered. The thought of being in class triggered her. She didn’t want to go there again. She just wanted to watch. But we are not there to watch. Everyone has to participate so everyone feels safe. We gave her three choices: She could go home. She could do the writing prompt at home or she could stay and push through. She chose to stay. We knew she could. She produced some of the most beautiful work that day. More importantly, she learned that she didn’t have to run away from her darkness. She could work through it. With writing. With acting. With her sisters.

Over the last few months, we’ve seen the young women bloom. The same women, who at the beginning of the program didn’t even want to participate, have turned into the young ladies who make sure to never miss a class. Young women who walk into class angry and righteously frustrated show up and work hard not just for themselves, but for their sisters. Young women who before the class didn’t know who Maya Angelou is can now quote facts about her life. They now know she was a prostitute who became a prolific writer and civil rights activist.

I have been blessed to experience young women who write and read some of the most beautiful, raw and heartbreaking words I have ever heard.“You wouldn’t know cause you don’t walk in my shoes. You don’t know my pain. So f@$$ that ‘this is what I would do’. How would you feel if he took his gun and aimed it at you?”

It is an honor to work with these womyn. It demands we show up to every class with our best selves, our whole selves. Is it working? Will theater and writing save their lives? Will it give enough meaning to their lives to change their existence? We don’t know. All we know is for two hours a week, they have somewhere safe to go where they are guaranteed to be seen, heard and loved.
In Rysing Womyn, they are making good decisions, experiencing healthy relationships with other women, earning money in a safe and productive way, and learning about people and events and history they never would have learned about in school. That’s got to count for something. It has to make a difference. I think sometimes of my old 4th grade teacher, and the difference she made in my own life—just by nudging and encouraging my creative side. Hopefully, we are their Ms. Gerhardt.

Dazed and Confused
My stepdad told me God was the most mad at me well fuck it cause I’m mad at him too
He playin tricks with my mind but mad I’m stuck in the loop
Then wanna send me straight to hell cause Adam tossed me his fruits
He let em rob me of my innocence at the tender age of two
They saw my walls wouldn’t fall snuck in and pillaged and looted
They tried to end my revolution but I made it right through
I tried to end my revolution my brother walked in the room
I don’t wanna feel the pain mama I need weed I need booze
I wanna feel everythang daddy I need dick I need you
I been a loner since my twin lost his life in the womb,
I ain’t no stoner just a lover of that flower perfume
Niggas claim they’ll stick around but they ain’t tape they ain’t glue
My soul is calloused
You wouldn’t know cause you don’t walk in my shoes
You don’t know my pain
So fuck that “this is what I would do”
How would you feel if he took his gun and aimed it at you
How would you lie just to cover up the scratches and bruise
How would you cope if yo soul was still stuck in that noose
Fuck you cause you’d be just as dazed and confused

Cat Brooks is the co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project, co-chair of ONYX Organizing Committee and an active member of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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The Rysing Womyn curriculum uses political education as a tool of empowerment and theater exercises and journaling... to help girls and womyn find–and utilize–their voice.