(This is the second part of the blog of a two-part article about Jardana Peacock, white, anti-racist Ally)
Jardana’s mentors have taught her many, helpful life-skills for her work as an anti-racism individual, that also be employed by systems, to thwart growth within groups, that espouse non-racist behaviors, thought-processes and lifestyles, to educate whites and the general culture about white privilege, Racial Justice; and the need for whites who wish to engage in political, economic, social & spiritual actions, that could liberate many whites who’re hung up in this “old brain” way.
Very fortunately, one of her mentors was the anti-racist fireball, Anne Braden, who also lived in Louisville, Kentucky; Anne died at age eighty-one, and was a powerful example to Jardana, of tireless work & commitment to Civil Rights; she remarked that just knowing Braden was a primary element in her own white-awareness journey. From her work came the establishment of the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research.
I asked Jardana how things were going with the anti-racism movement in Louisville where she lives; many activists are tired out, have compassion fatigue, so they’re asking one another how they can stay connected in such a low-energy state.
In her work with peers, Jardana uses a body-centered approach, as “the real stuff” where the body may lead us to places where some kind of trauma or oppression hides, or the sheer, intuitive sensing that the Universe is connected and interdependent, both in material and in spiritual realms; all of us on this big old ball in the sky (or at least many do) feel this at times by a felt-body-sensation. This is an issue of spiritual splicing our lives into the oneness.
This is so true, especially for simply “being with” the feelings, the biases, the cognitive distortions and disrupted emotions, the anger, the hate, the pride of superiority; as we practice, we focus more on racial-awareness and more of our unconscious insights may flood up into our conscious minds.
In her work, Ms. Peacock uses other creative modalities; she uses the kinds of exercises that enable us to shed our old skin of social conditioning, poems, dreams, writing exercises, asking good, clear questions, making art or crafts using one’s own hands, the identification of accurate knowledge, rituals, and relationship activities.
In Jardana’s mind, the end result for anyone in this arena of life is to allow an anti-racist-identity to grow for them, in whatever way it wants to show itself.
I asked Jardana if she ever felt push-back from people when she uses the word “spiritual,” in connection with actualizing more of our anti-racist inclinations; she responded in the affirmative, having observed this resistance on the part of many whites.
In anti-racism work, I’ve noticed that our spirit/mind/body coalesces within our inner person; the oneness of humanity and all other life-forms, gives us a center-point for our integrity, and to act with the same alignment with all of bio-life in the natural systems; this alignment gives meaning to the very central matrix of our beings, and with all other, interacting life.
After our conversation about what appears to work and what doesn’t work, this writer sees a deficiency of insight and accurate information, from a spiritual & philosophical base. Perhaps the most bottom-line, universal fact is that if we want to see changes in the world, we have to put on new glasses to see it, too. Internalized oneness gives us a new worldview, perhaps a newer brain, and, hopefully, a new consciousness about racism, diversity, difference and racial healing. Our essential common denominator is our human\ness. All of our experiences may have left wounds that need to be healed. We let the healing begin with us.
Copyright: Christopher Bear-Beam December 8, 2017