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Prayer Edition | Day 7 | Ntozake Shange

Show Notes

“I was missing something
something so important
something promised
a laying on of hands
fingers near my forehead
making me whole
sense pure
all the gods coming into me
laying me open to myself
I was missing something
something promised
something free
a laying on of hands
I know bout/laying on bodies/laying outta man
bringing him all of my fleshy self & some of my pleasure
being taken full eager wet like I get sometimes
I was missing something
a laying on of hands
not a man
laying on
not my mama/holding me tight/saying
I’m always gonna be her girl
not a laying on of bosom and womb
a laying on of hands
the holiness of myself released

I sat up one nite walking a boarding house
screaming/crying/the ghost of another woman
who was missing what I was missing
I wanted to jump up outta my bones
& be done with myself
leave me alone
& go on in the wind
it was too much
I fell into a numbness
til the only tree I could see
took me up in her branches
held me in the breeze
made me dawn dew
that chill at daybreak
the sun wrapped me up swinging rose light everywhere
the sky laid over me like a million men
I was cold/I was burning up/a child
& endlessly weaving garments for the moon
with my tears
I found god in myself
& I loved her/I loved her fiercely”

Spiritual Warrior

Ntozake Shange.

She invited us to find God in ourselves. She ushered entire generations of Black women into liberation. She wrote for those of us who didn’t yet exist. “So, we could have something here when we arrived.” That something was a vision for our lives that was bigger than our trauma. A vision that stitched together the words that had been snatched from our grandmothers’ tongues. She brought them back to life with vivid colorful detail and pain searing truth that forced the world to look our humanity in the face. Through her words, she said all the things that needed to be said. She wrote a Pslam and sang a Black girl blues. She resurrected the weary souls of Black women by breathing holy life into them, one stanza at a time and for this, we celebrate Ntozake Shange as the Patron Saint of Black Girl Healing. Thank you for serving us with such fierceness, dear sister. Today we tell your story. Let each step on today’s walk bring forth more of your powerful works into this world.

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