yonda [2021] : a letter to You

My great grandmother was oddly optimistic about Death. But not in a haunting way or even a literal way. What I believe she was actually interested in was a more metaphysical/transgalactic movement that would leave the troubles of this ole world behind. She, and many of the church mothers, would often sing about Yonder, the By and By, and/or how they were looking forward to sailing through the air on the Good Ole Gospel ship. As a youngin, a part of me wondered 1: I thought Black people were done getting on ships driven by strangers and 2: who all over there? Lastly, I wondered if they were even talking about Heaven specifically. Maybe they were, but it actually sounded like Yonder was a much cooler place to be — mainly because I did not like Church enough to do all this work down here and to finally get to Heaven…just to find out every day will be Sunday? No. Absolutely not.

Anyway, as I have aged, yonda (as I will refer to it from here on out) reminds me of the possibilities of Liberation. I have come to realize that Heaven is mostly a narrative of a world/place/space where there are no barriers, bounds, or burdens. There is no more crying there. There is no more pain. There is no more dying. And honestly, living in a antiBlack world that is far beyond Heavenly, Heaven did, and sometimes still does, sound completely unrealistic — but now I understand that that is exactly what makes it so appealing.

To the extent that We, and by We I always mean Black people, are working towards a new world, I think yonda calls us to observe a particular imagination that I think is needed. Imagination is a revolutionary tool. And as far as I am concerned, antiBlackness is here to deter, disrupt, and distract our dreaming. Or, as my great grandmother would say, to steal, kill, and destroy our imagination and curiosity. This is because I don’t believe you can build what you cannot dream up. It would incredibly hard, and maybe next to impossible, to create a thing that there is no Vision for. This is precisly what yonda is calling us to do. Besides, I think that’s why we love Wakanda. Although fictional — in real life — we still lost King T’Challa.

So for the year of 2021, I will be traveling from here to yonda in search of finding. What I will find I do not know, but I do hope you will go (and return) with me. I can only cover so much distance, and I only have my particular skills, so I will need you.

See you There.

Follow me here to see where we’re going.

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Educator. Experience Designer. Techie. — I read a lot, I think, and I write. And Ultimately, I believe community will keep us safe.

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Q Weston

Q Weston

Educator. Experience Designer. Techie. — I read a lot, I think, and I write. And Ultimately, I believe community will keep us safe.

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