PNN-TV: Healing the Hoods Media Series Pt #1
Day 2 of Healing the Hoods Weekend @ Homefulness opening ceremony included from above image Yoruba Chief Luisah Teish and in below image from left: Luta Candelaria, Corrina Gould, Luis J. Rodriguez, Tiny, aka Lisa Gray-Garcia, Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu, Mari Villaluna and Jose Cuellar. Photo Credit: Carina Lomeli/PNN
I am unable to find enough praise words that come from the deepest parts of my heart and soul in the one colonizer language i have been taught to express the gratitude i feel for the 2 day, cross-bay Healing the Hood weekend that happened this weekend, July 7th and 8th.So i will try to show u pieces of it.
"Our medicine is in us, it is with us in our minds and souls and barrios," said author and community healer Luis J, Rodriguez, to a crowd of at least 45 people who attended his morning healing circle on Day 1 in San Francisco. He told the group about his own experiences as a son, a father and a man of color, an indigenous man who is son of another indigenous man who seemed, as he put it, "to never show any emotion because it was so buried under so many layers of loss and struggle and codes of what men are supposed to be like". Luis sat with us, healed with us and spoke to us on both sides of the bay about his experience not only healing himself, but helping to bring the medicine of healing to other youth, adults and elders in struggle, in prisons, community centers, skools and organizations like POOR Magazine. He shared poetry, his writing and his soul with so many of us still living in plantation housing known as Single Room Occupancy Hotels (SRO's) projects and the cardboard motels, and then on Day 2 after a beautiful healing in our 2nd half of the day - he even showed us his belly, "I have several tattoes, he said, this is just one of the most important ones." After telling us that he rarely if ever has done this, he explained that this was an image of Coatlicue an indigenous image of great mother, Pachamama, called many different names in many different indigenous communties but that it always means our mother earth.
In addition to Luis there were cooking demonstrations by indigenous warrior wombyn, Ingrid DeLeon, Needa Bee, Luz Calvo, Catriona Esquibel, and myself. On both sides of the bay trying to show indigenous peoples in diaspora across these false borders, and lands and struggle how to go back to our own knowledge, our own foods, our own mothers, off of Monsanto colonization of our food and as Luz and Catrona teaches on - how to decolonize our diets.
We went from food to a new teaching we are developing at PeopleSkool/Escuela de la gente @ POOR Magazine called Medicine from Our Mama- This weekend brought with love and scholarship and prayer and intention by Estrella Divina and Tanya Henderson and Earth Mother Iyalode who skooled us on so many ways to heal ourselves that cannot be bought at Walgreens- but can be found in our environments, in our hoods and growable in our communities
We were blessed with the power, stories and work of youth warriors 67 Suenos who fight these false borders on Pachamama and brought their stories and helped bring so many others Qi Qong and meditation by one of POOR Magazine's brothers - Aldo Della Maggiorra, a healer and poverty skolar, poet and drummer
Our opening prayer ceremony on Day 2 was a moment in herstory with dreams and songs and spirit brought by so many cultures, traditions and cultures, holding and embracing them all to honor where all peoples walk from and to, beginning with medicine from Ohlone warriors Corrina Gould and Luta Candelaria, followed by Pacific Island scholar, Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu, to power and words of Yoruba Chief Luisah Teish, with words and spirit for all African peoples in diaspora and all peoples, to the beautiful flute of Jose Cuellar and then more medicine from our brother Luis J Rodriguez culminating in the beautiful danzantes;Kalpulli Coatlicue
All of this magic, this spirit, this love and this medicine was shared with poverty skolaz, youth, elder and indigenous skolaz from both sides of the bay and before each day was finished we closed with the first video shoot of Gheto Rider, a community ryme i started to help us heal our physical bodies from the many serious illnesses that are caused by our lives of not enough movement, too much stress, poverty, racism, violence and colonization. Poor bodies of color like my mama dee who never really moved her body because as a poor wombyn of color who was never properly loved and always racialized and oppressed and only had access to cheap and colonized food and more stress and depression that any one body could handle.
There was also poetry and art and beats shared by Dregs1, Tony Robles, welfareQUEEN's, Po' Poets, Pamela Arrieola, Muteadoo Silencio, Mari Reprado, and so many more..
This weekend was for everyone, and this weekend was for my Mama Dee, my strong Black indian mama - for without whom there would be no me- who transitioned wayyy too young because in her very hard lyfe she was never healed. this weekend was for her and all us poor peoples, indigenous and poor peoples of color who are struggling to stay alive-in this capitalist system controlled by corporations, perpetrators and plantations.
This Healing the Hood Weekend was brought to you by your poverty skolaz in residence at POOR Magazine, and co-sponsored by 67 Suenos, because we have been trying to heal our poor bodies of color in struggle for awhile and we knew it was essential to manifest our visions of a poor peoples-led,indigenous peoples led revolution. This is not the first and wont' be the last and we don't own healing just like we dont own land or dreams or voices or spirits or plants or medicine or love.. Healing happens everyday, just like pain and struggle and positivity and possibilities. But we launched this weekend mostly to bring the beginning of spirit and medicine to the Pachamama community garden at Homefulness.
Please join us East Oakland neighbors, community and allies, Sunday, August 5th @ 12:30 for lunch and a community talk-story about what this we all want to eat and what we want to grow. Be this change, walk this with us, because without all you there would be no us.
The Amazing Medicine Poet, Healer, Father and Loco Hermano de Prensa POBRE!!!! showing his Tattoo of Aztec/Mexica goddess Coatlicue- @ Day 2 of Healing the Hood weekend @ Homefulness in East Oakland- photo courtesy of Rebecca Ruiz - compa de Prensa POBRE (To see Luis at the book signing and film screening events this week in the Bay Area- check the schedule out here)