Last week, when I was staying at a hotel right across the street from Disneyland, I had a dream that I was having dinner with Sandra Bland and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
We spoke about the systemic racism in this country.
We spoke about police brutality.
We spoke about dying.
We spoke about what sort of letter Sandra would write to her children, and what sort of letter I would write to mine.
We each held up sheets of construction paper - white, brown, and black - against our faces and against our skin.
We spoke about that moment when I saw a brown man walking outside of the gates to Disneyland and assumed he was a worker there.
And when two children with mickey mouse ears on their heads ran to him and jumped into his arms, I was surprised and ashamed that I had made an assumption about this man based on nothing other than the color of his skin.
Yesterday in class, we imagined initiating the movement from our skin, and we all wondered how to do that, and what it meant, and why would we do that and what did it matter anyway?
Today, I am far away from Disneyland, far away from my dream, and far away from these things that Sandra Bland, Ta-Nehisi Coates. and I spoke of while we were eating dinner together.
But am I really that far away?
I don’t know.
I don’t know how to answer that question, or how to even ask the right question.
All I know is that I keep smacking up against my ignorance and my illiteracy.
And so I initiate the movement from my skin, and know that it means nothing.
I don’t know how to bring what I am saying full circle.
I don’t know how to wrap this newsletter up in a clever fashion.
I can’t find the symmetry.
I can’t find the center.
I think the closest I can get to giving you some kind of take away is…I’m sorry, I just don’t think there is a take away with this one.
Your dance mission for the week is to read.
Read up on what is going on with Sandra Bland.
Read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between The World and Me.
Read the newspaper, listen to the radio, host a dinner party and talk about what is happening in the world.
Help me find the take way from all of this.
And then dance, and let this dance be initiated from the skin.
Feel free to pass this newsletter along to a friend, and then share it on your favorite social media platform.
Finally, make any comments you have here - you know my favorite part about sending this out each week is hearing what you have to say about all of this.
With Warmth and Jivey Vibes, Joanna of Joanna and The Agitators sweetly agitating/persistently upending www.joannandtheagitators.com
ps. SAVE THE DATE:
Upcoming FREE DANCE CLASSES happening on Tuesday, August 18 from 11-1pm and Saturday, August 22 from 10-12pm. Both will take place at the Boulder Circus Center.