Road To Freedom — Moon is Down: The Status Quo is My Enemy, 18th of March 2022

Intro

Run (run) run (run) run

Run like the mare in Indiana
Run like the lioness across the savanna

Female
Brown skin
Melanin
Wide nose
Big lips
Thick body
Wide hips
Mother, mother
Yaay
Ma
Mama Afrika

The origin of the species
L’origine du monde
The giver of life!

Run (run) run (run) run

Run as fast as you can
They’re coming to get you
The white man

Part 1 — The Origins/Beginning

I don’t remember the exact moment I realized that because I was a girl, I wasn’t the same as the boys. Because my skin was brown, I wasn’t the same as those whose skin was light pink. They call that skin color “white.” They also call it “superior.” And because I wasn’t the same as them, I was also less. Less of a human, less of an equal — or not an equal at all — and less worthy. They call us “inferior.”

Very early on in my life, before I even got to develop the mental faculties to understand what kind of world and system I was born into, my innocence was taken away from me by men. And in white people’s eyes, I never had any innocence to begin with.

The moment I was created and identified as a female in the womb of my mother, the system had chosen its place for me in this world: Beneath men. Under his eye. And the moment people realized there was a little brown baby — a life — growing in my mother’s white body, there were some who thought I shouldn’t exist at all. If it were up to them, I wouldn’t. But here I am. And into this world I (be)came.

A unique being. An individual. Never here before. Never here after. Only here now. Like everyone else, not like anyone else. My DNA is one of a kind.

Yet it is my very biology — what I am — that determines my place in society. Not who I am. According to rules made by men — not nature. I am grouped together with those who share my sex and who resemble my phenotype. And for that, I am punished.

My kind is

Oppressed. Marginalized. Discriminated.
Objectified. Sexualized. Domesticated.
Harassed. Stalked. Violated.
Gaslighted. Disbelieved. Discredited.
Diminished. Ignored.
Excluded. Executed.
Vilified. Mystified. Pushed aside.
Gagged. Silenced with violence.
Beaten up. Beaten down.

Sold.

Killed.

Forgotten.

Part 2 — Reflections

Is my mother worth more than me because of her alabaster ivory milky white skin? Am I worth more than my father because of my golden oak caramel brown skin? Is my father worth the least because of his mahogany coffee black skin?

If the black woman was the standard of beauty, would I have felt differently about myself? If she were the one idolized? Worshiped? Like a goddess.

If our kings and queens, rulers of the world, had brown skin, would I have felt differently about myself?

Would I have felt differently about myself had I known there are different forms of beauty in this world? If I had been taught that we are all worth the same? If I had been taught that women are everything? That they are warriors? Strong, smart, and capable? Givers of life? Would I have thought differently about other people? Would other people have thought differently about me?

If there were no patriarchy, what would the world look like? Would I be able to live as a full human being instead of prey? If this were a matriarchal society, would there be war? If there were no racial hierarchy, would I be free?

Part 3 — The Message/Road map to freedom for my sisters

This world has chipped away at my self-worth, and the suppressed anger is eating my soul. The status quo is my enemy, and it will devour me if I let it. So I won’t.

To have a sense of self in a world that does not recognize you as who you are, is an act of rebellion. To love yourself in a society that tells you that you are not worthy of love, is revolutionary.

I know who I am. And I am loved.

So I tell my sisters and my future daughter:

Love thyself.
You find your sisters.
Find one another. Support each other.
Get angry. Be angry. Stay angry. Until you are free.
You rise up. You scream and yell. Until you are heard.
You will not be ignored!
And you fight. You fight until you have won.

We will win this war.

Outro

Black beauty
African queen
Goddess of life
Soeur nubienne
Sister, sister

Rise
Rebel
Revolt

Run

Run (run) run (run) run

Run as fast as you can
They’re coming to get you
The white man

Chorus

Oppressed. Discriminated. Marginalized. Dehumanized.
Objectified. Sexualized.
Mystified. Fetishized. Exotified.
Harassed. Stalked. Abused.
Violated. Molested. Raped.
Gaslighted. Discredited. Disbelieved.
Ignored. Overlooked. Excluded. Diminished.
Vilified. Criminalized. Pushed aside.
Gagged. Silenced. Beaten up. Beaten down.
Enslaved. Sold. Domesticated.

Killed.

Forgotten.

This piece is a part of The Moon is Down: The Status Quo is My Enemy, a collaboration with Marshall Trammel, Dora Poni J. Loro, Carol Stampone, and Wengeal Abebe. The performance had its world premiere on Friday 18 March 2022 at Borealis Festival; Bergen, Norway.

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Anine Bråten

Anine Bråten

Student, feminist, anti-racist, activist. Freelance writer and public speaker.