What’s the point? In this section affirming radical activism we focus on the world and our place in it. What’s the point of “endless” struggle? What did our foremothers work for? Here we remember that the energy which drives us goes beyond acknowledging (or even overemphasizing) misery. It is to look to the future to sense its wonder, its limitless potential for joy. In this section we affirm joy by starting with ourselves: joy of ourselves, within ourselves, with our loves, whom we love, including ourselves, who inspires us, including ourselves, what inspires joy outside of ourselves.
We begin with an audio clip of Duriel E. Harris discussing radical self-acceptance and knowing. This knowing acceptance includes shames, as an aspect of bringing ourselves to ourselves, including our body, by holding space for its understanding. This space and its holding are radical for the society in which we live. In Adjua Greaves’ poem, “We Live on Earth Where Sex is Fuel”, we read about joy in the context of sexuality and nature as a loving partner in the full energy of passion as our existential fuel, from which we drive and derive, profound understanding. In giovanni singleton’s mesotic, we see a specific source of joy for the writer, the luminous transcendental life and creation of musician and spiritual leader Alice Coltrane. Finally, in two sections, Tisa Bryant underscores the meaningfulness of teaching, creating, making work, making meaning for ourselves and those under our care. We are part of a community with psychic/psychological understandings, scars, wounds and words. Radical Black women make extraordinary work. There is joy to be found in that acceptance, in continuing this tradition to cultivating this radical extraordinary work in others into their/our limitless potential.
—Tracie Morris, June 2021