Castles and Dungeons

ADRIANA ZABAYOMI, ZUMBI DOS PALMARES UNIVERSIDADE

I am a Black woman!

I never lived, I always have survived within the margins of what society has set for me. That resilience allowed me to get here, but during the struggle of survival- it was called need, lack of choice; among several others. Some of these terms of how I defined my life, I can not remember anymore, but there is one that I never forgot because it was said so much. Without fail, society told me: "Blacks! This is your place!"

Therefore from my "place," I started to build. The truth is, I never wanted to go the many ways they set up for me. I never lost so much to get to the same place, and in all of them, I always broke to pieces! By speaking and breaking in pieces, even today still some pieces have not returned to me and others did not understand what they took from me! They took away my right to be a "real person," as they say "human person", for to them my flesh means I am nothing!

I remember what meat I always was, because they always saw it, which means that they will not unsee. My flesh will always be a problem. This Black, this fetish. It has given me so much trouble that I even wished I was never Black again! This flesh is such a serious problem that even the fruit, the children I bring into the world -they take them from me.

 My Black men have been taken away, and when I say, men, they have all been ... brothers, sons, fathers and husbands, the latter have no more right life than me. But of course, this is not a problem for a Black woman who can not even be considered worthy of being betrothed. But I wanted to, for many times I wanted to stop dreaming and have that option. However, our men had already gone, to marry others, because "it was not my place."

I have seen many building castles and dungeons and by the floor of this text, they must know to whom these buildings are destined! They say that everything is seen from above, and I tell you when you are down there that you are part of what happens. Even from the outside or from the bottom yes I did leave because I cried for every one of our losses and our pains!

Holding this weight made me stronger, yes, because I was the first to come out that hole and I carried the weight of all the others that were thrown on top of me! To get out of here I had to take all those who were also trapped in the dungeon with me.

I was finally living, I took one by one, and I had patience even with those who returned. Then, after raising so many people, I went up. Barefoot, curly hair and tattered clothing invisible to me, before society, I know the word is difficult, but the action is not!

I was so invisible to them- things became easy. Soon I learned that I could walk, I just could not make a noise. And that's how I started, I gathered rocks at dawn, even because it was the only rest time I had, to start construction. I learned what a tear can turn into! There were so many pieces left over for a hundred more buildings! And that's how I built it, I joined my pains with another pile I found on the way to the first building and began to build. 

 Just putting more pain together is not enough. I decided to start visiting some castles, I went one at a time but it never fit me, either because I was too much, or because I did not, believe me, it was too often because it was too much!

And it was just that I decided to leave the dungeons of the castle of Brazil and create my own Empire! The Empire of Candace!

Because queens do not deserve less than that, because yes women need moments to feel their pains, to cry their loves, and to scream their follies! We no longer need to remake ourselves into holes and dungeons that were built for us! We are unique and we are strong and we know who we want to be and where we want to be!

Empire of Candaces, more of us, for ourselves, because we can not fit in the dungeons designed for us, we have no choice but to build our own castles!