love conjure/blues

MAG recently released a five-part series in the Nonprofit Quarterly on the five elements of a thriving justice ecosystem. One of these elements is valuing multiple ways of knowing, which is discussed in Multiple Ways of Knowing: Expanding How We Know, the third article in the series. 

There are many different ways to understand and engage with the world - including through your experiences, through art, and through ancestral wisdom. Yet there is a strong bias in the U.S. dominant culture, which shows up in the nonprofit sector as well, to value only one way of knowing—a knowing grounded in data and logic. 

All of the ways of knowing are equally meaningful, and are critical to our efforts for transformational social change towards dignity, love, and justice.

To accompany the Multiple Ways of Knowing article in the Nonprofit Quarterly, we are thrilled to share an excerpt from the love conjure/blues Performance Novel by Sharon Bridgforth, a key contributor to our thinking about ways of knowing. 

 

love conjure/blues: an excerpt


the Houma       the swamp the woods yonder
the Fon the Ibo the Yoruba the Wolof/tied lashed
lashed/opened
still fight.
the Houma with Tunica Choctaw Chickasaw
here before the before
know night and moon hear trees and earth
drumming drumming
hold on
drumming drumming
on the way
drumming drumming
the Houma the swamp the woods yonder the moon they signal with drum
untie the Fon the Ibo the Yoruba the Wolof
clean swab wrap quick here here here
up swamp through woods past yonder fly
not seen.
the Houma the Fon the Ibo the Yoruba the Wolof
free
free more.

sun spoon moon make rain
the Houma the Fon the Ibo the Yoruba the Wolof the swamp the woods yonder the moon they signal with drum
raise trees kiss earth
open pens break doors use
stones and blades arrows and fists
fight
free more.
and so and so and so again
moon rise sun sleep
more here here here
free.
go back
free more.
over over
they childrens they childrens they
children carry they story
in cloth
in feet
with hair
when laugh
with drum
Praise memory
Praise the people.  

drum bend holla dance shout laugh free far away back a woods yonder
free
free more.

drum bend holla dance shout laugh free far away back a woods yonder
free
free more

drum bend holla dance shout laugh free far away back a woods yonder
free
free more
free.

drum bend holla dance shout laugh free far away back a woods yonder
free
free more
free.

An excerpt from the love conjure/blues Performance Novel
written by Sharon Bridgforth (c) 2004, published by RedBone Press

The love conjure/blues Text Installation is published in
Blacktino Queer Performance, Duke University Press, 2016.
Editor(s): E.  Patrick Johnso an Ramón  H. Rivera-Servera