I am a black woman, a mother, an incarnation, a testament of those gone before me. I am an oracle for my daughters’ daughters’ daughters; my sons’ son’s sons.
My black round body, my touch, my scent, my ever whitening hair, my breath, my voice, my listening and speaking, my hearing and brazen deafness, my giving and receiving, my loving and loving failures, my forgiveness and failures to forgive, my chronicling of these times is my insistence, my persistence, my resistance, my open rebellion to live and love and create in the face of the universal threat of my annihilation in the U. S. and beyond.
When I am living a life of action, consciously and conscientiously, in the face of that threat, I am new spun and carded wool threads that have been twisted, braided and fashioned into mooring ropes for over four centuries of enslavement, captivity, torture, dismemberment, death, and terrorized into crippling servitude and silence. These ropes are thickened with each passing rescue and healing and honoring and hope laden use. These ropes are passed from generation to generation as are lynching ropes. With them we catch, haul up, save, heal, teach, bury the dead honorably and respectfully, and guide us along the constant roads, plains, rivers, mountains, and seas of our sacred humanity, obligation, and promise to hang moons, fling the stars, and save worlds.
I am a cataclysm of reckonings for the incalculable inhumanity, depravity, exploitation, occupation, enslavement and slaughter of Indigenous, and African peoples and lands.
My daughters, my granddaughters, my great granddaughters, my sons, my grandsons, my great grandsons, blood kin and chosen kin, named and unnamed, known and unknown are the unsuspected sparks in cold ash ignited in the threads of four centuries of deferred freedoms and promise.
Andrea R. Canaan