Are we ready to be well? – The Feminist Wire

Are we ready to be well?

By Cara Page

The Salt Eaters (new)

She asks in The Salt Eaters…not like drinking fish oil or cod liver oil to be well, but ready to accept and permit wellness on all vibrational levels and frequencies.

Ready to transmit and be a conduit of healing so that black bones from old slave ships and unmarked graveyards can be rested; so that the restless souls of marred bodies of live lynchings
the Emmett Tills
the Michael Browns, Troy Davises and Trayvon Martins

and the four Black Girls in Birmingham
Cynthia Wesley,
Carole Robertson,
Addie Mae Collins,
Denise McNair
can lay their weary heads

Not wellness like the ways of boiled ginger root,
or laying a penny in every corner so your life will shine and money will come flowing.
But the way that singes the pain out of our bones that we were never meant to be here in the first place.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

And somewhere we got lost in the constellation of stars
between Harriet Tubman’s wayward journey
and our destinations towards freedom
confusing crack for our compass
and love for refined sugars and television

Are we ready to be well?

Wellness that looks like embracing the 276 black girls taken from the
276 Chibok school in Nigeria
or the numberless girls taken from the market on Myrtle Ave. in Brooklyn
from Memorial Drive in Atlanta
and all the roads we are taken that do not lead us home to safe harbor

And the murderous incantations of people’s shadows, our family members & folk who beat down the spirit of our children with antics of you “owe me” while they sell them for drugs and sex…

this was not the wellness she was looking for

We cannot be well until we can rest our hearts and minds that sets
Marissa Alexander free
And remembers the Black girls and women killed at the hands of cops
Aiyana Jones, mistakenly shot and killed in a raid by Detroit police
Shantel Davis, gunned down by the NYPD, Tarika Wilson in Ohio

Until we are free of heinous crimes, like the charred bodies of freedom fighters that try to cross borders of U.S. imperialism,
or the rapes of trans women in prisons;
and the birth of our children into sexual slavery

We cannot be well until…we pour libations for the ancestors so that they may rest

So that they can work hard for our spirits to survive
At night in our dreams they wrap us in white cloth
and massage our feet in gold glitter for the journey so that we may take flight

I want to

I want to be

I want to be well

Not at the expense or dis-ease of your life for mine

Not at the mouths of monsters and gods who live down the street or in our living rooms

She asks us to be well

to love ourselves and one another

So that we are all safe and loved


and not harmed

Rested and not invisible

Elevated and not buried

We want to be well in your words Toni for our

liberated lives.

Care Page imageCara Page is a Black queer feminist cultural/memory worker & organizer. She comes from a long ancestral legacy of organizers and cultural workers from the Southeast to the Northeast. For the past 20 plus years, she has worked within the queer & trans liberation movement, reproductive justice, racial and economic justice movements and the National People’s Movement Assembly. She continues to organize and create public memorials to our movement leaders, communal legacies, and mobilize transformative spaces for the safety and well-being of our communities. Cara is currently the Executive Director of the Audre Lorde Project, an organizing center for, by, and about Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Two Spirit, Transgender & Gender Non Conforming People of Color in New York City. She is also co-founder and former Coordinator of the Kindred Collective, a southeastern network of healers, health practitioners and organizers seeking ways to respond to and intervene on state violence & generational trauma. She is the former National Director of the Committee on Women, Population & the Environment and a proud member of Southerners on New Ground, Project South, and INCITE! Women and Trans People of Color Against Violence. Cara is also a published Black feminist poet and playwright, and a guest artist of Sins Invalid. She is honored to work on this project with such feminist warriors, organizers, cultural workers, and change makers!