“I’m tired of people asking me to smooth my name out for them. They want me to bury it in English so they can understand. I will not accommodate the word for mouth. I will not break my name so your lazy English can sleep its tongue on top. Fix your lips around them. No you can’t give me a stupid nickname so that you can replace this gift of five letters.” - Hiwot Adilow (linked above, performing the quoted piece)
“Give your daughters difficult names. Give your daughters names that command the full use of tongue. My name makes you want to tell me the truth. My name doesn’t allow me to trust anyone that cannot pronounce it right.” - Warsan Shire
pictured above: Entitled white woman Jenny Johnson in all her ethnocentricity. I grew up with women like her, they were my teachers, classmates. They resent any self-possessed “other” as “arrogant” for attempting to access the same common courtesy and respect they might allow those as vanilla as themselves. These women view it as their birthright to decide what is “weird” and “obscure” from within a niche limited to “white women named Jenny.” They blame their linguistic inadequacy on our parentage while resting on the privileges of their own. These women never amount to anything beyond an ignorant bully forever isolating themselves from incredible people with spectacular names.
our insistence that you pronounce our names correctly = “arrogance”
your insistence that our names are too difficult for you & that we should just deal w/the way you mangle them = ????? (the answer is white supremacy)
“once you have love for yourself, it’s with you for the rest of your life”
This is true. I’ve written about loving as a generative act — that is, something you generate, not something you take from others. From all my practice and studies and experience, this generative act begins with self-love, which is an expression of love of Creation, or you might say Creation’s own self-love as embodied by you, from which other forms of love spring, without which love can only be sought outside oneself, which is ultimately futile. Self-love is not narcissism, in fact narcissism is usually a form of self-loathing, whereas with self-love, you might still detest certain parts of your conditioned ego which you find hard to dissolve, but you love your true Self unconditionally. After a certain point, every single day becomes the first day of the greatest romance on earth and it never goes away.
If we took the time to realize that we are cartographers of our own small worlds, we might just see our bodies as the landscape we archive, sometimes haphazardly, sometimes with purpose. We might realize that the straits and canals we navigate run along veins, pump through arteries, stimulate…
I went to visit the Another London Exhibition at the Tate Modern today; feeling as though I might see things I’d seen before, I was happily proved wrong.
All the images in the exhibition, from a post-war Britain to the end of the 1970s, capture different aspects of London life through a…