Posted in Rootwork

Why We NEED a Black Witch Conference

I was asked about a week ago why Black witches had to have their own convention. I explained that we all need our safe sacred spaces, and it is high time that we have them.

Don’t believe the hype despite what you read in a pagan blog. I have spoken to the organizers of the Dawtas of the Moon: Black Witch Convention, and their statement is as follows:

My exact answer that I submitted in writing was as follows: “Since we are having the event in a public space, I cannot say that they cannot come. However, they need to understand that if they make a choice to come they need to recognize that they are in OUR sacred space.” When I hosted the Enter the Womb event, we were on private property which gave me the opening to say no non-women of color and with me renting a public venue, I was not quite sure of how I would be able to carry that for legal reasons. So I used the wording I felt would cover that. However, after doing further research and realizing that we are an organization with specific memberships I am in my full right to say that if you are not a women of color, do not waste your money because I will not refund it.”

So to reiterate…..If you are not a Women of Color, do not come. If you buy a ticket we will dismiss you without refunds because you were told in advance that this event is not for you. If you are a brother…wish us well and send us your love. Make sure your wife, sister, dawta, mother have all their needs met so they can attend this event. ~ Mama Omi of Dawtas of the Moon

So if you have any questions, there is your answer.

You see, I don’t want to spend time trying to explain to non-POC women the intricacies of my life. When the topic of this conference came up, I had to take the time to explain things to them that were exasperating, and ones that I really think they should know.

Part of the lesson I had to teach was that Black Witches/Workers/Healers get it from BOTH ends. Our own people shun us because they have been brainwashed by the church. Even though our practices and beliefs are thousands of years older than theirs (and well documented), they believe and judge us based on a book that was written 300 years after Christ died, and they only believe it because someone told them that they were going to hell of they didn’t.

Incidentally, I keep looking for the physical evidence of my former religion, but I can’t find any. If you can, let me know because I can find plenty of evidence of the religions I follow.

I had to take the time to exaplain how disappointing it is that I’ve been told by Black people that those who practice the ways of our Ancestors are savage devil worshipers. I’ve had family and friends (who I believed had better sense) tell me that they were not comfortable staying in my home anymore, much less having a conversation about my religious beliefs. They change the conversation, walk away, hang up on you, and leave Facebook group conversations without so much as a goodbye.

Now ain’t that a bitch considering I’ve spent my life having theirs shoved down my throat whether I wanted to hear it or not?

This is not to say whites don’t experience that as well, but because of our culture’s deep entrenchment in Abrahamic religions, and our values of keeping families intact that have been ripped apart for so long, these things add extra pain to this kind of ostracization.

So do you think I want whole day of that shit when what I really want is to be around women who get me?

In my Bey voice, “HELL NAW.”

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When I began to study Vodou, other ATRs, and aspects of the Occult (which by definition means “hidden” for nothing more than the above stated reasons), I thought I was entering a place where people had open minds and were welcomed. I found out very quickly how wrong I was. There were few places where I felt welcome, and often I was asked questions like I was the only Black occultist on this planet.

The funny thing is, life is the same for Black people in the occult as it is anywhere else in the world. You get to be the spokesperson for all Black people. Racism doesn’t disappear because someone no longer worships an Abrahamic religion. The venue of this treatment simply changes. It doesn’t go away.

To say I was disappointed is an massive understatement.

There is still a portion of the Pagan population who are racist as the day as long, and to add insult to injury, we have cultural appropriators running roughshod through our religions and traditions trying to change things about them that make them uncomfortable.

When the writer of the blog referenced above was uncomfortable with Mama Omi’s words, she CHANGED THEM.

When we call them on it, we are accused of being segregationists, and even racists. It only shows me than many don’t even KNOW what the sociological definition of racist is. You do know have to have the ability to systematically oppress people, don’t you? Ask any Black person the last time we were able to do that.

Please, I’ll wait.

We have not been able (or really tried that hard for that matter) to keep non-POCs out of ATRs, so please, please, please tell me how we have oppressed whites by simply saying, “you can’t sit with us” for ONE FUCKING DAY???  Oh, I know what is at play here.

They realize that we might actually like it and start doing it MORE OFTEN.

(You do know that is why there are loitering laws that are always directed at Black people. If you cannot gather, you cannot plan anything.)

Can non-POC still sit “other” places? Yes. Isn’t that what we were always told? How is that “separate but equal” sitting with you now that the shoe is on the other foot? It hurts like your ass has bunions, doesn’t it?

And no, men of ANY COLOR  will be in attendance at the conference. I don’t care if you are Black, Brown, and down. The fact that a brother has to point out the fact how we are continuously ignored in the movement on national TV is shameful.

We want, no we FUCKING NEED, a safe place to go to be with women who experience the same things and face the same struggles. And it is not because Black women are not diverse, it is because our oppressors treat us THE SAME!

We have a need to gather, to love, to commune, to bemoan our condition, to find SOLUTIONS, and just to fucking BE!

No, I don’t need “Becky with the Good Hair” or “Mister/Hotep” looking over my shoulder and writing everything down/recording it on an iPhone while I do it.

It just ain’t gonna happen.

So now, I am delighted to see that there is a place for US where we can discuss the strange dualities of the church and Paganism. Where we can be Black and Brown women of all types. Where we can see our diversity even if no one else can. Where we can share, love, support, and grow. I hope that all sista witches support this. To register, please purchase your tickets here:

Dawtas of the Moon: Black Witch Convention

I’ll see you in October.

Posted in Rootwork

Everyone Wants to be Black Until It’s Time to REALLY be Black

I originally wrote this as a Facebook post a year ago today. I thought it was worth repeating…

Let me explain something to y’all. Maybe those who say, what is the big deal with this Rachel chick? Why are people more than a little bit irritated with this imposter? I think it would help if someone like me took the time to explain why I say I am Black, and why I take exception to someone who is saying they are when they are not. (Don’t worry boo boo, I feel the same when Blacks pass for white, but we can discuss it in another thread.)

I would like to explain why I know with my soul and my entire being that I am BLACK. In fact, I am unapologetically BLACK. I believed that I am wonderfully made, and I come from an amazing culture that has had a tremendous impact in the land of my birth. I believe that EVERYONE should be proud of the culture they are from, but I am not “African American” in the true sense.

I am not an African that came here as an immigrant and willfully became an American. I am not the daughter of African and an American. I am a sum of my parts, a combination that is unique to the American experience. Because of my history, the enslavement of some (not all) of my ancestors, my unique struggles in the home of my birth, I have a completely different reality than someone of direct African descent. While my blood is 74% from the motherland, my culture, my family ties, what I have always been from BIRTH, no matter whether if I lived around mostly Blacks or mostly whites, is BLACK.

Am I upset about this? Absolutely not. I would never change who I am for any reason. I would not co-opt another culture because I have never been, nor will I ever be, ashamed of my background. “Race” is a man made construct made to divide and hate. They’ve tried to use biology, evolution, anthropology, and genetics to make us look like we are not quite human. I do not play into the pseudo science of race. We are all of the same species.

When you talk about someone and who they are, however, you are talking about their cultural lens. I am not talking about a culture that you just adopted because you like it. It is how you were raised. What shaped your formative years. What your family and community gave as your foundation. The mentality that shaped your mind. Just like Italians, Greeks, and the French. You may have been born African, but if you are raised as a French person (say you were adopted by French parents), you identify as French. But because of RACISM, there will ALWAYS be some asshole who will come around and NEVER let you forget you are African, and not in a complimentary way. (Ask Sonya Bonaly, the skater who had “too much strength” to win a gold medal in skating.)

BUT CULTURE is cultivated, treasured, and often appropriated in the most disrespectful of ways. From my personal experience, Africans do not see us as the same as they are. We are Americans to them. Some are cool and nice about it, and still treat you well. However, many distance themselves from us for many reasons that are too multiple to get into here.

Is there a possibility that a racially white person can have a Black cultural lens? I’ve seen it a few times in my life, but usually I’ve seen the opposite. I’ve (also) watched Blacks, for whatever reason, see things from white cultural lens. But I digress. I’ll talk about how well that works for them later in this post.

I have witnessed whites who are culturally Black while visiting my cousins in the projects near my high school. I was standing in front of two sistas having a heated discussion. I was more than a little surprised (when I turned around) to see there were two white girls (twins at that) standing there. BUT the difference was, I never ONCE heard them say (or talk of) that they considered themselves Black.

I never saw them put in weave, tan their skin, or exaggerate Ebonics to the point where you could sense fuckery. Even when the Black people around them considered them to be Black, they never tried it. Do you want to know why? Because they knew that if they wanted to, they could change their diction, lie about where they lived, and most importantly, leave that first impression that they were white with anyone they pleased. That is the difference between living through a Black cultural lens and pretending to be Black.

The scary thing is this. You DO have people who are the descendants of Black folks walking around here thinking they are white. That is their cultural lens. Its really sad because we live in a country where they are told that they should be a certain way for acceptance and recognition, but that recognition never really comes. They are just just mocked and laughed at by whites and Blacks alike. Even when they tried (Allan Keys, Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, Tiger Woods and his “Caucublasian’ – I could go on forever), there is someone always there to tell you that you are not (white). (Remember Fuzzy Zeller after Tiger won the Masters?)

Don’t hate the player, though. Hate the game. Somewhere along the line, someone taught them that it was in their best interests. Don’t ask Black folks to fix it either. How can we fix something we did not create?

People want to blame Black people because we WANT cherish our culture. We make every effort to hold on to the last few shards of the religion and culture of our ancestors, not just from Africa, but who were here already! This was stripped from us to reduce our power, destroy our cultures, enslave us mentally, and destroy our families. This, people, was done by design. No one EVER questions why there is a Swedish, Greek, or Jewish museum (unless they are a shitty bigot), but they sure wanna know why there are museums devoted to our culture.

Then you get coon opportunists like Jesse Jackson (who should have KNOWN BETTER), who decide give us a label that we did not need. Did Jesse forget Africa is a CONTINENT? How in the hell can we ALL come from there? You came from a NATION or a COUNTRY in Africa. We have a right to define specifically who we are culturally, as well as geographically, if we wish. No one has the right to make you GENERIC!

When Rachel Dolezal claimed she was Black, she did lay claim to this from a cultural lens. Her formative years were not shaped by the struggle of actually being a Black person in this country. She could look at her siblings (who incidentally were being raised in a white cultural lens like she was, and THIS is why her parents do not get what she has done AT ALL.), and empathize, but because she was not raised through this cultural lens, she cannot sympathize. I mean really. The woman had to write herself hate mail in order to feign legitimacy as an “oppressed” Black woman.

Just stop now. I CAN’T.

Look at people like Eminem. Like him or love him, he came from a hard life. He raps about what he knows. That is why most people would/will not diss him or his experience. They have tried, but his staying power with all races should give you a clue as to what I am talking about. He’s been legit to the best of my knowledge, even when the media made efforts to discredit him. He never claimed to be anything other than what he was.

And I’ll leave you to make your own comparisons with that one-hit-wonder, Vanilla Ice, who stole his words from the men of Alpha-Phi-Alpha and his beats from Queen. He lied about who he was and where he came from for street cred. He gets no props from either side of the fence, and now he flips homes because nobody will pay him to be on any stage.

Maybe Rachel and Vanilla should get together and have some imaginary Black babies.