There is/was so much going on in our world today that I thought the best way to survive was to take comfort in poetry.
Staceyann Chin’s poem “Feminist or Womanist” is the kind of convoluted, passionate, thought provoking piece that reminds me of new majors or old majors that have never been taught intersectionality or worse that “standpoint is primarily about women of color.” She reminds me of the student who has just discovered that the violation of a woman’s body can be both rape and cultural expectation or who demands “Why am I senior and I am just now reading this?!”
I love these women, transpeople, and yes, sometimes men, in my classes. Their ideas are still forming like a blooming flower in highspeed video – so fast the connections are not always there, not always clear, but earnest. And when they bloom, you cannot help but smile for the water you sprinkled or the light you shone to help the process happen. And you prune the leaves and the top heavy buds, to let them know when this first fruit of excitement dies, there is still more learning to do. The connections must be there, the sentiment can be clear and documented.
So, to all gearing up to teach, & those at my institution who are already teaching the new semester. I give you this poem from Black Asian Jamaican feminist Staceyann Chin