By Anamaría Flores
In a white male supremacist heteronormative puritanical judeo-christian culture such as the one that characterizes the united states, the most revolutionary act for brown and black folks is to reject the dominant culture and love ourselves. This is especially true for the sistas/hermanas who are taught from the time we’re small to love everyone else around us but ourselves, to place everyone’s happiness and security and peace of mind before our own: men, parents, children. To love ourselves FIRST is an act of revolution: to love our hair, our bodies, our way of thinking, our way of being, our skin, our features, represents a return to our African and Indigenous roots, to matrifocal thinking, and our commitment to an ancient future. Lest my words are dismissed by some as “new age-y” or “romantic,” I close with these famous words of Che Guevara:
At the risk of sounding ridiculous, a true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.
At this moment, at this time, these words still ring true: revolutionary love begins with self love and it is from this self love that revolution will spring.
Anamaría Flores holds multiple degrees in English and has been a Black Studies and Caribbean and Latin@ Studies professor in the City University of New York (CUNY) system for over a decade. Detroit born and Bronx based, she is a social justice activist with special interests in issues that affect womyn, children, and the LGBTQ community. She has published in Socialism and Democracy and recently contributed an essay to a guidepost for girls and womyn ages 12-25 that is forthcoming. Mami to a sUN—age six—Anamaría currently works as a curriculum and literacy consultant and is hard at work on a collection of essays.