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This morning I was over visiting John Fioravanti’s blog Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti. John’s been doing a series on Black History Month in Canada. He also does a regular feature called Believe It Or Not. If you haven’t been by his place, please stop over and have a read. Not only is he a great writer and author himself, but he’s a heck of a teacher (secondary teacher). You can find both of those items in the menu at the top of his blog.

Today his post was about poet, writer, and social activist Dionne Brand. John says:

“In her well-known long poem ‘No Language Is Neutral’ (1990), Brand meditates on her “escape” from Trinidad to Canada, where language can be just as enslaving and where her history is just as obscured by the typically white, male and heterosexual master narratives of others…”

I guess the reason that phrase stuck out to me is because I recently attended a social justice class where we discussed the Black Lives Matter movement. I saw just how easy it would be for persons of color (ANY COLOR) to feel enslaved by ways they’re referred to and the assumptions that are made about them. But never once in that class did I stop to consider whether there were words and perceptions that make ME feel enslaved.

I’m still pondering that an hour later. There are a few words I could list, I suppose, but for me assumptions are the more “red button” issues. Like when I had just gotten my new phone and was having trouble with it coming back on unexpectedly after I’d shut it off. Both his nibs and Bran asked me, “Well did you slide the button over when it came up?” After being asked that twice I blurted out, “You know I’m not stupid!” 

So while I’m sitting here rolling this over in my mind, I’m wondering if there are any words, phrases, or perceptions in YOUR life that make YOU feel enslaved? If so, share it with us!


Picture Source:
Dionne Brand — edmund k. saunders
Derogatory Words — Treatment Before Tragedy
Think! — Teach Junkie