By Tariro Mavondo (published on 9 February 2016)
As a black woman living in the diaspora I’ve been thinking a lot about how Beyonce’s Formation is a transformation of my personal struggle song into a collective celebratory boom box anthem. Been thinking about how important it is for black women in high positions of power and leadership to put the black female narrative centre stage.
It is not only essential because it is an act of solidarity a loud ‘I see you and I’m with you’ but also because our narratives are often held …at bay, handcuffed on the periphery of more dominant narratives and often not allowed to take the spotlight. So Beyonce’s Formation becomes a small victory in a bigger narrative where as black women society is largely failing us. It is rare that our narratives are told by us and where the message is for us.
So I would like to take the time to acknowledge all the black women who have placed our agenda at the forefront throughout history and all those currently doing so. With A list black female actors, writers and directors on the rise and movements like say her name led by black women gaining momentum and recognition the formation has begun is happening and will continue to move.
Having been a member of women of colour and black women collectives I acknowledge that as a minority group in Australia it is necessary to create space where it is just us, for us so we can come and exhale together and go out there and continue singing our personal struggle songs with more zeal. If Beyoncé’s Formation is an anthem then these spaces are our hymns.
By Summayyah Sadiq-Ojibara (Published on 27 December 2015)
He asked me, ‘Where are you originally from?’ I said, ‘From Nigeria…and what about you, where are you from?’ He looks at me as though taken aback…there’s a short pause and then he says, ‘me?’ I said, ‘Yes, where are you from?’ Then he says, ‘My mother is from Sweden and my father is from Britain…’
It was a brief a conversation; a typical one at that and the man was respectful and appeared genuine in his interest. I am asked quite a lot about my place of origin and I usually chose to take such discussions as a learning exchange, however this exchange stayed with me for reasons which I won’t bother to analyze here but which has left behind some threads of reflection.
We all come from somewhere wherever that may be and are received by ancestors and keepers of this land we have reached, and as we color the land with our many cultures, we become makers of more legacies and inheritors of the land. We become owners of many legacies, we have stakes in the success of the lands we come from; the home we left behind.This is where our story first started, where the seeds of our beginning were sowed and nurtured; where our roots lie. We have stakes in the land we have journeyed to, live in, give to and now call home. This is where we are flowering and bearing more fruits by Allah’s Mercy.
As for all of our homes in this life; those we have lived in, now live in, those we carry in our hearts and our final home that which we pray and strive to reach in the next life, therein lies our complete story of being and our ultimate place of rest. – Summayyah Sadiq-Ojibara