Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 81

The struggle is real. Navigating toxic masculin- ity on a daily basis. Engaging even the most cynical among us. Throughout the ages, artists have used canvas to create social and political change. Artists The struggle is real. Layers of unbalanced have used prose to record memories, resist op- power and complicity of men in causing harm pression and inspire revolutions. Artists have and maintaining misogynistic structures. danced for freedom and awakened us to the realities of racial injustice. There is redemptive The struggle is real. Demanding autonomy of voice and power of agency in a world filled with power in the voice of the artist. men who never learned how to talk to a girl. My father (whose image is on the scarf next to Today, I awakened channeling June Jordan’s spirit: “...I am the history of battery assault and limitless armies against whatever I want to do with my mind and my body and my soul... ...and I can’t tell you who the hell set things up like this but I can tell you that from now on my resistance my simple and daily and nightly self-determination may very well cost you your life.” I don’t do it all the time. Only when I feel safe. And that shit’s relative. Safety, I mean. I am not the one. I believe in necessary dis- ruptions. You will be held accountable on my watch. *** [Here is context about the scarf worn by the author at the beginning of the article.] The scarf is from the Freedom Collection that I created in collaboration with fiber artist, Lau- rie Phoenix Niewidok, that honors the Free- dom Riders of the 1960s. Art is often an access point. Connecting us despite of, and because of, our differences. VOL. 34, NO. 1 my white, Jewish mother) was on the first bus that arrived in Jackson, MS on May 24, 1961. The “colored only” sign is reminiscent of Jim Crow laws that mandated the segregation of public schools, public places, and public trans- portation, and the segregation of restrooms, restaurants, and drinking fountains for whites and blacks. Facilities for Black people were consistently inferior and underfunded, com- pared to the facilities for white Americans; sometimes there were no Black facilities. My father, James Bevel initiated, strategized, directed, and developed SCLC’s three major successes of the Civil Rights era: the 1963 Bir- mingham Children’s Crusade, the 1965 Selma voting rights movement, and the 1966 Chicago open housing movement. He is also perpetrator of my incest. CHEVARA ORRIN is diversity & inclusion practitioner, social entrepreneur, author, social justice activist and survivor of childhood sexual violence. Her work and passion lives at the intersection of gender parity, racial equity, LGBTQ equality, and arts activism. Recognized nationally as a leader, advocate, and ally for the LGBTQ community and featured in publications including The Washington Post, The Feminist Wire, and on SiriusXM Radio, Chevara is inspired to use her personal journey of tragedy and triumph as a catalyst to ignite social transformation. © 2019 TIKKUN MAGAZINE 81