Oya: Wind and War

Hello my beautiful people,

I must start with a disclaimer (I hate disclaimers) but today, I must admit that Oya is not an Orisha I know well. So this will be short and sweet, however it should not take away from her greatness and power and should influence you to investigate her further.

By now, you have read about Mama Yemaya and Sweet Water Oshun and so today we discover Warrior Oya.

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Um, yeah, that’s Oya! Lol. I was thinking that if I had to find someone who personifies her currently, that would be Remy Ma. Seeeeeeee, now yall are like, ooooooh. Lol.

Sidebar: Did you see how Remy said she’s not “particularly proud” of shEther because she doesn’t like tearing other women down.

Back to Oya. Oya is known as the Orisha for change. And yall know there are many ways to experience change. Oya tends to bring the pain when she brings change. But she doesn’t necessarily, have to. She is the protector of women and a fierce warrior. Her sword or machete is always by her side and she’s always ready to use it.

Now think of a student in your class who exhibits this kind of demeanimages.jpgor, may they be a boy or a girl. And I want you to think through all the ways they may be misunderstood.

See, Oya is about that life AND she is the wind of change. She is the owner of the marketplace and the keeper of the cemetery. She’s complex and she’s experienced some real loss. She carries a sadness with her.

Think back to that student, that some may be “afraid” of, tired of, intimidated by. Do you detect a sadness there? Deep down. Honestly, it may not even be deep down. It might ride the surface. And as we already know, “hurt people, hurt, people.” And so, what can we do with that fiery spirit of Oya that may live in our students?

  1. Help them to cultivate their leadership power.
  2. Provide opportunities for them to usher in change.
  3. Engage them in activities around activism and advocacy.
  4. Nurture in them, their ability to be visionaries.
  5. Challenge them to engage in entrepreneurship that focuses on solving problems in their communities.

In my humble opinion, Oya’s energy needs to disrupt and dismantle in order to rebuild and its possible that this need is also seeded in some of our children.

As I’ve taken you through this cursory journey of the Orisha’s, I’ve tried to provide for you a different lens with which to look at our girls especially during Women’s History Month or as I like to call it Divine Feminine Month. Unfortunately, here in America, the  traditional lens used to define and describe Black femininity and girlhood is situated in white supremacist, patriarchal and racist ideology.

Black femininity has been forced into the stereotype of the Mammy, the Jezebel and Sapphire and been weighed down by the heavy gaze of the larger white society, which has labeled white women as pure and worthy of love.

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And so, for this Divine Feminine month, I offer you a lens of Black femininity and girlhood from a Diasporic lens and as we continue to celebrate Black Girl Magic this month, I want you to really consider from what perspective are you seeing our young Black girls and who crafted that perspective for you.

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Please understand that Black girls are the second most suspended children in our schools, behind Black boys and as Monique Morris explains, they are being pushed out of our schools, systematically and efficiently and are the fastest growing members of the female prison population.

So, as the ancient African proverb goes, “If you don’t know, now you know….”

If you haven’t already purchased Pushout, I strongly suggest you cop it.

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In solidarity,

Please remember to comment, like and share.

 

 

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