In 2018, I had the immense pleasure of co-leading a group of over twenty people to visit, The Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, in Montgomery, AL. Both created by Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy and creator of the Equal Justice Initiative. We had some pretty intense workshops about race and white supremacy in America and our final event was our Pilgrimage to Montgomery. This was such a powerful and sacred journey for us as we confronted the horrors of America's past and marveled at the bravery of our Ancestors.
As we were exiting the Lynching Memorial, a portion of my favorite quote from author, Toni Morrison was on the wall. “And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. and all your inside parts that they'd just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver--love it, love it and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.” -Toni Morrison, Beloved
Reading this quote in that moment, helped me to see that Self-Care is an act of Resistance. To love and nurture your self regardless of how the world sees you or treats you is powerful. We owe it to ourselves and to our Ancestors to continue to be brave enough to choose self-care and self love above all else. Happy Black History Month! Happy American History Month!
-Our Group of Pilgrims
-Toni Morrison, Beloved