Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Trauma of Trayvon: Sidestepping Black Grief

I've been avoiding Trayvon. I've avoided listening to the grim police phone calls and the sounds of gunshots. Instead I've been walking through a somber fog of his sudden death. I've sidestepped my emotional connection to our child, brother, son, friend and playmate. Call me a punk, non-confrontational or tell me I am suffering from avoidance. But I didn't want to feel the pain of his loss. I didn't want to stir up the memory of so many other forgotten fallen black children.
Justice or Peace?
Sure, the text-book traditional stages of grief take you through denial, pain, anger, depression and ultimately recovery. But where is our opportunity to grieve if we are engaged in unbalanced anger. Black people are frequently positioned as reactionaries. True grief and long lasting recovery must occur in a safe and sacred space.When is it our chance for collective mourning and vulnerability?

When have we allowed ourselves to pour out our emotions of pain, anger, bewilderment and the shock of his death? Where have we celebrated his life? As we put on our hoodies, march down to city hall and advocate, we also need an honest opportunity to look at ourselves in spectrum of life's uncertainties. In the words of scholar and activist bell hooks,
"maybe this isn't a time to summon power,
 but really a time to let go and grieve."

I don't look to Trayvon's death as a unique and isolated circumstance for grief or an excuse to quell activism. Grief is critical for awakening America's cultural sensitivities to the value of life. But, if we continue to bypass grief for activism, we become numb and detached from the blood, skin, bones, energy, tears and heartbeats that shape the individuality of life.

While some take on debates, legal complications, racism and stereotypes, I welcome those who want to personally grieve and hold space for Trayvon to yoga on Monday 4/2 at our Soulful Flow Yoga Class. Our class will be designed to move through pain and provide an opportunity to physically release unresolved emotions associated with his loss and the loss of other black children to senseless crimes.

Let Go & Release Yoga Practice
Monday, 4/2/12
Hillcrest Recreation Center
3100 Denver Street SE
Washington DC 20020

1 comment:

Alexis said...

You are such an asset to this community. I agree with your sentiments.

Much love.