Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Free expression is the base of human rights, the root of human nature and the mother of truth. To kill free speech is to insult human rights, to stifle human nature and to suppress truth. – Liu Xiaobo
Amendment XIX. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
We continued to explore women’s history month and notions of freedom this week through the poetry of poet/activist Audre Lorde, the words of activist, critic, and writer Liu Xiaobo, the story of suffragette Susan B. Anthony, and amendments of the constitution guaranteeing free speech and voting rights for women. We are no longer in election season but using writing as a tool for expression and self-exploration is a continuous political practice and exercise of our rights. We take the time to examine our thinking and tell our story as a method of connecting to one another as well as a way to link our needs as human to our rights as citizens.
In the pieces below you’ll see the candid reflections of the writers inside. I will let their words speak for themselves.
SAVIOR OF THE SURVIVOR
My mother’s name is Dawn.
She is the woman who inspires me.
Change and love is what she has shown me.
We don’t always get along.
We have hurt each other.
Finally she realizes what life is like without me,
after I had a mental breakdown that
almost killed me,
she stood up in front of cameras
on a path to defend me,
showing me she loves me.
She gave me hope,
shined a light on this depression that seems
to haunt me,
a little hope was all I need.
I was surprised she did all that she did for me.
She gave me hope that someone in this earth loves me.
I haven’t cut in two weeks.
She is my mother, my hero.
She saves me from the agony others watched drown me.
She is my mother,
I am her daughter.
No corrupt judge is going to keep us apart.
There is only one truth:
That I still belong to you!
For a relationship that was broken.
Proof all broken things heal in time!
“WE WERE NEVER MEANT TO SURVIVE” Continue reading