Black Love Is More Revolutionary Than Ever
Love has sustained us through generations of systemic oppression
There is a movement sweeping the nation that will change the course of history. Amid a perfect storm of events, including a viral pandemic and the extrajudicial killings of unarmed Black people by the police, people in the United States have been activated in the fight for social change in a way some historians and elder activists say they have never seen or experienced before. Longtime activists are creating the spaces in which those newer to the fight can come and protest, educate themselves, and provide material resources to a fight that’s been going on for centuries. This is a moment.
People are tired. Black people, especially, are beyond exhausted from lifetimes of carrying the weight of racist tyranny. We are tired of being dehumanized. In the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. And yet we still continue to fight for liberation from racial oppression and freedom for our people. Every generation, a new cavalry of activists pick up the torch and take to the streets, continuing along the paths carved out by the freedom fighters before them. This work isn’t easy and can be downright debilitating; we need to hold onto whatever we have in our lives that is positive and sustains us. What we have, in seemingly unlimited supply, is love, and it is the love of our people and our hope for the future that motivates us to keep going forward.
“Unless one lives and loves in the trenches, it is difficult to remember that the war against dehumanization is ceaseless.“—Audre Lorde
Love fortifies us in other ways, though, specifically the intimate kind of love that offers us a soft place to land at the end of an emotionally exhausting day. It’s the love that rubs our feet after hours of protest and washes our clothes after they’ve been drenched in pepper spray or coated in tear gas. This divine love wipes away our angry tears and listens to us when we scream “Fuck the police!!” until our throats are raw. Even more, it is the love that shows up right beside us when we can no longer stay home or stay silent. It holds our hands…