by Milton Goosby
"You can count the days of an empire by how quickly its monuments fall"
Catch feelings in the dawn, crying silently in my at home work space.
Fabricating an illusion of stability while navigating corporate culture, codeswitching to get by.
Walking the neighborhood, where masks and gloves huddle in the gutter, as America, sloughed off fear of a pandemic, runs headlong into the age old arms of Reckoning.
We meet in the field, get familiar with old ways, this knowing, this desire to topple the altars that have stood guard over American history.
Like a sword forged by ancient hands is this kinetic energy we are channeling. In an effort, we steer our destiny towards (r)evolution.
During the height of the first wave of a global pandemic we shared resources, amplified voices and promoted community to keep one another aware and alive.
Affirmations and pathways are being woven into the narrative. All our years of organizing become a powerful counterpoint to the brutal law and order policy of the White House.
As normalization was pressed, the exertion of state control over our autonomy exploded. A series of public murders by state forces.
Not to mention the vacuum of silence surrounding over 100,000 covid-19 attributed deaths in the US.
Despite grief, hunger, poverty, our youth chose to do battle against the state, while online communities provided support and logistics.
Instantaneous communication, shaped by the organic desire to escape the bonds of economy, stabilizing a center through which our social currency is realized.
A global spotlight now shines on the persistent antiblackness that is interwoven with capitalism, state violence against black bodies via police/social/health services). In doing so many black people have also had to isolate themselves further.
This violence, in its many manifestations, police, healthcare, legislation, economy, apologies from peers (begging you to be patient) - has ignited a global awakening which this country hasn't seen since Reconstruction.
The Minneapolis uprisings proved that agitation and persistent push back against the police state is immensely effective.
Isolation and introspection on our personhood have allowed the world to see beyond grinding consumerism and blind nationalism.
However, black fatigue and frustration is amplified right now.
Many of us have stood at the gates for better or worse, through exile, suffering, displacement, knowing that we may never see white supremacy brought down.
So we become further divided from what could be, forced to keep repeating that concessions won't cover the debt we are owed.
The burning is necessary, an extension of collective dissent, the heated voice of the people, rising.
Self isolation has allowed me to reshape what it means to grieve for my brother, my cousin. Countless other black and brown, queer, trans, disabled and neuro-diverse people who've died or were murdered as a direct result of systemic racism.
Relearning my own center, which is a difficult task on the tail end of almost dying, emergence delirium, not knowing whether the knot had finally been severed....
Reclaiming peace with my online community as we use our network for direct action, aid and solidarity.
Working together to make sure that everyone left in the margins has a support system.
I also walk the shadows, always familiar seeming, substantial.
My ankles are wet from the swamp water, soles cracked, oozing as the light pushes me forward.
You can count the days of an empire by how quickly its monuments fall.
You can create songs about how the people are gathering, fed up, in the streets.
Milton Goosby is an ex convict, hate crime survivor, former sex worker and mentally ill fugitive. He wrote his first manuscript in prison, by hand. Efforts praised but ultimately rejected, he knew then that writing was his voice.
He's written extensively about life as a trauma survivor, anti-blackness, Otherness. Confessions of an Urban Shaman has garnered thousands of views.
He produces afrofuturistic microfiction on his Patreon page. He's best known for citing the disavowal of black queer, trans, disabled and mentally ill folks in polyamory.
Connor Newson is a photographer and film maker from London. He uses film as a tool for social change, and can be found at https://www.adamscreativemedia.co.uk/