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Friday, December 01, 2006

Interrupting my hiatus on this site to post this poetic engagement by Marjorie Light. Marjorie is a writer,musician and dancer from Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Pitzer College, double majoring in Women of Color Art and Activism and World Performance Traditions. She has been self-publishing her zine, Some Misplaced Joan of Arc, for eight years.
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Hi Ms. Strobel
I don't know if you remember me but I met you briefly at the AAAS conference
last year at the Pinay Power panel. I loved the panel. I also loved your
book Babaylan as well as your older work. You speak a lot of truth and you
are a refreshing voice amidst all the dry, mask-wearing academic books out
there.

here is a poem I wrote that was inspired by your writing. I hope you like
it. I usually perform it with a hip hop beat playing in the background.

Marjorie

Decolonize Your Mind

Decolonize Your mind
reclaim your expression
start your own struggles
find out the intersections
dismantle your oppression
then enter a new dimension
so we can be free
so we can just be

I cherish the indigenous
what they tried to take away from us
the soul survives within
it lies just under my brown skin
within our bodies lie cultural memories
the way things used to be
the way things are supposed to be
I create my own rituals to connect with the sacred spiritual
the life force that feeds us
they can never take that away from us
so I must bust and I must flow
I must show and make visible my own soul

I live on the borderlands
traveling between worlds
as I analyze systems of power
they all begin to unfurl
I don't believe in your constructions
all your constructions I shatter
I defy labels and boxes
I defy the slave master
seeing through the eyes of the snake and the eagle
Filipina feminist growing up with my people
traveling the world collecting beats from my indigenous tribes
keep the music alive cuz its a tool to survive
guerilla warfare its a way of life
trained through everyday battle with the stress and the strife
state apparatus is ready to attack and trap
but I won't let them break this bridge called my back
reclaim what was denied for so many years
step up and wash away all of the fears
be a warrior and take back what is ours
fighting and destroying to take back the power
I was given this chance but some sisters are not
across the street and the ocean their dreams shrivel and rot
I was born in the US so I have more privilege
to express myself get educated in college
that's why I'm reaching for the top I'm reaching for the stars
make sure my life and career go far
move from immigrants' daughter to postion of power
implement policy rebuild the system structurally
empower the community and mobilize politically
then analyze it critically for any hypocrisy
that's right son I'm gonna take this and run
take the knowledge give it back to where I come from
it's what I want it's my desire
take it to the next level take it higher

Decolonize Your mind
reclaim your expression
start your own struggles
find out the intersections
dismantle your oppression
then enter a new dimension
so we can be free
so we can just be

I'm a woman of color anti-racist feminist
I'm a hip hop scholar ethnomusicologist
I'm a punk rock riot grrrl artist activist
I'm a girl with a mestiza consciousness
I'm the girl waiting at the 180 bus stop
I'm the kid from Northeast L.A. straight out of Eagle Rock
Asian woman with the rhymes that make you go into shock
I stray away from the rest of the flock
I'm the Filipina fresh off the boat
I'm the one who can't pay because she's flat broke
I'm the diva who scores 99 on the magic mic
I'm a woman who fell in love at first sight

yes I'm every woman it's all in me
any mic you want I'll rock it naturally
but I'm not an individual I'm part of a legacy
in the mirror see my ancestor's face looking back at me
much respect to the teachers who come before me
I come with love and peace
hope our numbers only increase
we speak up even though we might be scared
feel unprepared
even so we must dare
to question society
critique this institution
deconstruct the theories
and start a revolution
it doesn't matter if your words aren't perfect
it doesn't matter because someone out there needs to hear it
claiming space for our community
so that we can come together in unity
I think what we crave is visibility
are you hearing me
are you feeling me
cuz you're healing me

Decolonize Your mind
reclaim your expression
start your own struggles
find out the intersections
dismantle your oppression
then enter a new dimension
so we can be free
so we can just be

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