Manual for the struggler in the struggle

(Tuesday April 22, 2014)

STRUGGLE: Make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction, Engage in conflict, Strive to achieve or attain something in the face of difficulty or resistance:

I am listening to Alice Coltrane. Ptah, the El Daoud.

I am thinking about this struggle this life, this system.

Where to go. Who to go to.

The imagined community that does not exist in reality.

How did I get here.

I remember.

I believed.

I had a dream.

I am listening to Alice Coltrane and thinking about the struggle i feel, that I am so deep in, it doesn’t matter to me thinking about what I wanted to win.

Things pull you in either way in Jamaica.

This struggle, this life.

This life that I refused to live and the life I wanted to life.

And now I am in deep.

Deep inside the struggle, the belly of the system, on the outside looking in wondering if I will be killed, seeing the road ahead, still I can see the road continues ahead more struggle ahead.

I stop to think, the head aches make me stop to think.

I freeze, am frozen thinking caught in a head ache, head hurtful thinking about this struggle this life.

This way out, around, across under,over. And the bruises, the cuts, the scraps from this struggle that is now a fight.

I am wrestling, wrestling with this system.

This way of living.

The definition.

This definition of us.

The history and the future is a struggle and I want to stop struggling.

Where are the others? Are they near me?

I can’t see them and it feels so dark and I feel alone and I just feel like this is a struggle and for the first time now that I am here I wonder who wins in a struggle?

I start to believe I cannot win but I can only be in the struggle struggling and I don’t know what to think, for surrender the thought of surrender is worst than the struggle and soon they both become the struggle that has pulled me in.

The struggle: the politics of geographic coordinates

I am here. 18.1824° N, 77.3218° W named Jamaica. An Island. We have come to know as an i-land. The problem started in 1492 with Chris. At least this is how I remember it,it began with Chris because before Chris came that was another history creating another future. Chris came and made our life a struggle. George understood, that is why he went after Osama. George and dem in the big house understand what I mean. Osama was an intruder. And the likkle man pon di corner him totally get it too cause him haffi a hide fi seh Allah. Suddenly everyone weh a seh Allah become more “other”.

A same way so the problem start with Chris coming to Jamaica. They weren’t planning on building a nation in 1513. When our shipped docked here. The first migrants from England to Jamaica weren’t thinking about no nation. They lived as privileged migrants do.

The rest of us. Were we thinking about no nation? No system of government? We the second class migrants. Africans, could we see  government? Could we imagine living as migrants on this i-land together?

But without dis imagination came the system. Government, economics, education, religion, social, for the second class migrants.

But since 1513 we have been struggling to be free. 501 yrs of struggle to be free. Free. And can we second class migrants imagine freedom. After 1838 we were free. The second class migrant Africans could turn in their accessory to the British migrants. Give them back their chains. We did and we were free. But we were not free to live.

And we continued to struggle to live. And we continued to struggle to live. Even today we must talk about our struggle understanding we are not free. And how we must continue to struggle for more and more years to come. Because to live is to struggle. To live is to resist. To affirm is to resist and to resist is to struggle. To create is to struggle to resist to affirm.

Understanding what you are struggling for? 

Imagine your freedom because freedom has different faces. The chains like accessories can be worn in different ways on your body.

Find community

Build community

Stay true.

(Sun-Ra-Sleeping Beauty)

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About afifa

dj. artist. creative director and co-founder of the SO((U))L HQ and DI Institute for Social Leadership. I make ritual spaces.

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