Mules + machines. This is the historical and present-day subliminal description that scrolls across the subconscious of our society when considering the impetus of Black and Brown women. Envision us, a myriad of Brown faces and Black beings and melanin skin, not smiling or posing but simply occupying the natural expanse required our bodies, our existence. Perhaps even as we consider ourselves, we are wrapped with questions of motion:
What are we doing?
What have we done?
What ought we do?
Perhaps it is difficult to fathom our value notwithstanding our strength, our resilience, our productivity and capacity to endure that which is unbearable.
Weeks ago, when the air was still brisk with the cold winds of winter and most Minnesotans had not yet immerged from their annual hibernation, I took a trip. Nestled away from the coming and going of life, I warmed myself before a fireplace and relished in the quiet of my weekend lodge.
Though my surroundings were serene, I found it difficult to silence the rushing of my thoughts, still trapped in the ongoing cycle of always doing. To remedy this, I sought out a story, a book to lose myself in, like a time-machine made of bound paper that might hold me together too.
As I skimmed the titled spins in the section of African American Literature, newly stocked for Black History Month, I was tempted by Maya Angelou, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison. But instead, I brought back to my bungalow a book titled “Happily