Blog: Here's what Tom says about that!

The challenges aren’t all black and white

Posted May 16th, 2011 by

I recently made a new Facebook friend when a woman I’ve never met sent me a brief story and a video. With her permission, I share them with you here.

I’m a lesbian activist living in Oakland, California. I’m a house painter and sometimes, a singer-songwriter. I paired up w/a guy I’ve known who’s a retail worker at a paint store I’ve done business with for years. I am older than Alex and he’s always shown me nothing but a comfortable & welcoming vibe – not homophobic at all, and this is not a ‘typical’ response to my presence among straight hip hoppers in my community-at-large. I’m usually seen and treated in a way that feels to me like, “move away from us”. But Alex and I have developed an easy friendship over time and I have encouraged him in his musical journey as well as getting involved politically. We’ve shared a lot of stories and sense of community for years, but many don’t understand our connection. When he had the basics for one of his songs, he asked me to help him complete the vibe of it. I brought in my R&B and lyrics and THE MOMENT became something very different as a result. He is pleased to include me alongside his other hip hop projects, but his buddies don’t always ‘get’ what it is that we did in this piece. We see it as a visual force w/a message of unity and hope that more healing comes from it. Straight outta Oakland, here’s THE MOMENT….

Please pause here and check out The Moment.

joey brite searched for me on Facebook after one of her friends turned her on to my work. This is one of the things I love about Facebook: the ability to connect with people I may otherwise never know. Allies, teachers, peacemakers, seekers, and friends enter and enrich our lives. After I watched The Moment (a few times) I wrote back:

Thanks so much for sharing this terrific video/song. Your story is the path toward peace and reconciliation. Gay/Straight, Black/White, Male/Female, Israeli/Palestinian, and so on… developing authentic relationships with “the other” leads to more understanding and the dissipation of fear.

As Sharon Morgan and I continue our collaborative journey to heal together from the historic trauma of slavery and racism, I’m reminded once again that the need for healing isn’t just a black and white thing. There are a whole lot of shades of gray wrapped around injustice, intolerance, and fear.

Check out the full CD of The Moment by LowKeydaACE here.

One response to “The challenges aren’t all black and white”

  1. […] (Hat tip to InheritingTheTrade) […]

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