I’m not one of those who believes
That an act of valor, for a woman
Need take place inside her.

My womb is packed in mothballs
And I hear tht winter will be mild.

Anyway I gave birth twice
And my body deserves a medal for that
But I never got one.

Mainly because they thought
I was just answering the call of nature.

But now that the revolution needs numbers
Motherhood got a new position
Five steps behind manhood.

And I thought sittin’ in the back of the bus
Went out with Martin Luther King.

– Kay Lindsey
published in: Toni Cade Bambara (1970) The Black Woman: An Anthology. pg 13.

I just want to post here this really powerful statement made by the women of color caucus of the WV coalition against domestic  violence.  I stand in solidarity with Megan Williams and with these women of color who are calling for an end to the violence.  


October 1, 2007

We, the Women of Color Caucus of the West Virginia Coalition of Domestic Violence, stand in solidarity with allies and in partnership with Tonya Lovelace of the national Women of Color Network from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and issue this statement of concern for Megan Williams and outrage for the crimes committed against her person.

Megan Williams, a resident of Charleston, West Virginia, was a victim of domestic and sexual violence as well as a victim of hate crimes based on race and gender. In addition, Megan is a victim of the criminal justice system, of the media and of the community at large, all of whom failed to acknowledge the fullness of her humanity as a woman of color, as a woman with a disability, and as a young woman who experienced extreme torture, dehumanization and gang rape.

We are concerned that the criminal justice system failed her by bringing her case of bad checks into the media at the time of Megan’s initial recovery. While she may have some charges of her own to contend with, the timing of Megan’s public arraignment served only to downplay the violence she experienced and diverted attention away from the central issue of her surviving atrocious crimes perpetrated by offenders in callous disregard for her safety. Many women exposed to violence have criminal histories often accumulated as a result of being connected to an abusive partner. Megan’s victimization must remain central in the media as well as in the systems that claim to “serve and protect” her and other victims of violence.

We as women of color and allies in West Virginia identify Megan as a survivor and as a woman who represents dozens of women of color who are mistreated, mishandled, disrespected and often dehumanized across this state and across the country. Violence against women of color is often viewed within the context of stereotypes held by police officers, attorneys, judges and even advocates. Women of color may express anger at the scene; may have little money; may have several children; and may fulfill every stereotype. But regardless of life circumstances, women of color deserve support, assistance, protection and fairness.

We believe that the crimes committed against Megan are rooted in racism, sexism, and ableism. All women must be, heard, acknowledged and treated with dignity and respect by the criminal justice systems and all other systems seeking to address violence against women. Violence against women must be taken seriously or there will be more Megans who will suffer at the hands of others whose bias-motivated behaviors inflict great harm. As such, we are looking for accountability for those who hurt her, for due process, and for each and every person to evaluate themselves and see what each of us can do to make a difference and to see where we may have collectively failed Megan.

We are calling upon each of you to take a stand on gender and racially motivated crime. We are calling for legal reform that recognizes the interplay of hateful gender and racial epithets uttered during the commission of violent crimes committed against those of protected classes. We are calling for the media to offer fair portrayals of victims and to be responsible in seeking multiple voices. We are calling for the criminal justice system as a whole to take violence against women seriously and to hold batterers accountable for their actions. We are calling for advocates to integrate violence against women of color and other marginalized groups into the heart of the work of creating safety in communities around the state and across the nation. We are calling for men to check male privilege and engage in the work of ending male violence against women. And finally, we call upon women of color and people of color to stand up, be heard, and offer support to Megan and her family. With all of us working together, we can bring the issue of violence against women and hate crimes to the forefront.

We stand in solidarity with Megan Williams and support all efforts that respond with justice and accountability to the plight of victims brave enough to reveal their identity and their hope for change.


For more information regarding this statement, please contact Kenyatta Grant at West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, (304) 965-3552.

*This statement was developed by the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence Women of Color Caucus and allies at the WV Summit on Violence Against Women and was read to conference participants.

So, I’m my own worst student.  It’s really a damn shame – I’m about 1198 weeks behind on Lex’s course.  OK

I think I’m gonna try to make my way back to the reading list and see what happens.  Also, I think this may be easier if I also make this a space where I come to write whenever I’ve got something to say – that way I’ll be reminded it exists on a more regular basis.  Yeah, well okay let’s see how this works.


– Sylvia Wynter alcheringa/ethnopoetics/two/2/1976

I am still working through this week’s readings and Wynter has a lot of powerful things to say, but I definitely heard that truth today. I think that yes, this is the work – in so many ways. Because reclaiming vast areas of our being means eventually reclaiming the (birth)right of self-determination, reclaiming the (birth)right of community, and reclaiming the justice and peace which we surely must have been meant to have since the longing for them moves us so deeply.

And, I think that in addition to the vastness beyond our own selves, this must mean reclaiming the vastness that is within us as well. Reclaiming our faith, our trust, our love, our generosity and grace from a social order that cannot make sense of them within capitalist logic. Reclaiming our rage full of power, hope, and sorrow for what should have been from an order that perceives only cost, destruction, and inconvenience when we cry for justice.

Reclaiming our identities and sexualities and erotic power and our friendships and loves and partnerships and also those relationships that our language eclipses (so much of what ties us together is unspeakable, for instance how do I even name my relationship to the other people “in” this “class” – but also our partners in open relationships, our communities that are more like family, or our shared destiny with and accountability to that little 6 year old girl whose body was found raped and hung in her garage in Texas this week) from a social order that chops us into legible bits. And reclaiming our children as a hope and promise of tomorrows from a social order that knows only today and has no vision beyond what our children cost or signify about the proper configuration of families (which of course corresponds to maintenance of the way things are rather than future as possibility). And absolutely it means reclaiming our priceless bonds to mothers and grandmothers and fathers and grandfathers and ancestors from a social order that also sees people as commodities of relative worth, and recognizes neither future in wisdom nor value in history.

And it means we will have to do this ahead of time, before reclaiming is legible as life-giving and while it can only be read as theft. We will have to steal knowledge, time, and dreams from this machine. We will have to do it while still bound to the market relations on which our survival depends. We will have to reclaim the vastness of ourselves in order to claim a future worth hoping for. I believe this is possible.

so, I guess now I better read DuBois and actually answer some questions…

Serena Sebring


current status:

  • highly problematic
  • minimally serene