Co-Director Shaketa Redden’s 2019 Hiatus Letter

I began on a journey to build something new with some dope folx a few years ago- Black Love Resists in the Rust. A political home for Black and Brown folks that didn’t fit into the conservative or progressive spaces that already exist in Buffalo. The amount of labor expended when starting a new organization is difficult for anyone, especially those of us who live with an autoimmune disease. It if for this reason that I have decided to take a year away from the work and focus on healing physically, mentally and spiritually.

It is a common phrase amongst organizers that you can’t be a prophet if your own land. I would argue this is not true in the sense that it is meant.  Most folx involved in movement would say a “hometown organizer” can’t fight the power they face with folx who have known them since they were children. The difficulties of organizing at home come with all of the responsibilities with being a woman of color and living in the same city as your family and loved ones.   

I moved back to Buffalo the summer of 2012 and started organizing in the fall of 2013. During this time I have had many deaths in my family; my grandma Janie who was my constant, and my 18-year-old cousin who was murdered on Fillmore Ave. Both shook me hard- one making me question my confidence and the other made me question the work or the way I was engaged in the work.

I know that the work will continue powerfully by  leadership at Black LoveResists and their commitment to our liberation. While I am away I ask that you all send me love, light, and the space that I need to heal and reflect during this year.

Sending love,

S.

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