Dear Irresistible Revolution,

“As a culture worker who belongs to an oppressed people, my job is to make revolution irresistible.” – Toni Cade Bambara,

Dear Irresistible Revolution,

My understanding of you is etched out of edges and angles, composed of changes and consequences, preserved in passion and patience, tethered to truth and transformation. Revolution, you cannot be evaded or erased. You live in the breath, blood and bones of every Black Indigenous Person Of Color with a disability. The mere thought of letting you go terrifies me throughout the night and the very idea of holding you eases my entry into each new morning.

To turn away from you is to turn away from everything within me. I am far more emotional because of you. Not just in relation to an emotional presence but in the sense of emotional transcendence. I have 1:00am conversations with Anger, 11:00am calls with Happiness, 3:00pm discussions with Fear, 3:10pm talks with Sadness, 5:00pm chats with Courage, 9:00pm debates with Worry and midnight moments with Love. Holding space for these emotions to exist holistically in my Black disabled body is a radical act of healing and daily dreaming. You have helped me to observe how dreams can grow in both daylight and shadow. You have held my hands as my fingers trace across the various shapes of my trauma. Some of that trauma is generational familiar to my mother, grandmother and great grandmother while other forms of that trauma are more acute known only to me and God. Thank you for being my Sentry as I search for safe spaces for both my mind and body to exist freely in a world that rotates atop an axis of ableism and anti-Blackness. 

Revolution, you are with me always. In the predominantly white workplaces, in the businesses that fail to accommodate people with different types of disabilities, during disasters/emergencies, in classrooms and hospital rooms, you are always there. With every breath and each heartbeat, you live, I live, we live. Sometimes subtle and semi-silent but most times bold and profoundly rowdy when necessary. I derive so much pleasure from having you inside me, a feeling that is overwhelmingly organic and orgasmic. Thank you for this embodied knowingness especially when there are so many external unknowns beneath my feet and ahead of me. Just knowing you are here and that you will be there, somewhere in the future, is more than enough. You are my most well-known secret. They know you so they fear us. The joining of our collective power is a problem for those who have never resided within the margins. But you and I, we like to stretch out. We deserve space on every page. We are not asking for permission to show up because irrespective of whether or not they choose to see us, we are still here. We have a common love interest, liberation. We share a similar discipline, hope. We are mutual aid dance partners in movements. We are an ever-lasting entanglement. I could never live this life without you, my beautiful, beloved and irresistible revolution. 

Forever yours,

Justice Shorter

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