“A Guide to Violence” by Kandace Siobhan Walker

  1. have a body.1
  2. abandon the gender you were assigned at birth.2
  3. name social structures which shape & govern your reality.
  4. name trauma. name the classes who inflict trauma on bodies like ours.
  5. remove a history book from its shelf and light a match.
  6. practice empathy.3
  7. walk naked into the street, demanding reparations.
  8. adopt english as a mother language, when you’ve no other choice.
  9. disobey the state by giving birth.
  10. talk in dialect, like you never left the motherland. learn to code-switch.4
  11. name the women you love & who love you.5
  12. design new vocabularies to voice your lived experiences.
  13. navigate.
  14. mourn the dead, thank them for what they left behind.
  15. demand what you are wrongly denied.6
  16. be vulnerable, sometimes. when it suits you. be kind.7
  17. protect what you love.

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1
 read: feminine, or other. a white body, for perceived vulnerability. a black or brown body for increased threat of violence, and structural vulnerability.
2 name your body’s sex characteristics after an old hollywood movie star or your gynecologist or your favourite day of the week: “touch my wednesday.”
3 say things like, “the moon & stars are all lesbians,” and “what’s your rising?” in public.
4 or, don’t.
5 mother, sister, friend, cousin, lover. we brush each other’s hair and hold marathon skype calls in mercury retrograde.
6 healthcare, free tuition, capital. space, light, love. longevity of life and work. your child’s safety; will he come home from the park?
7 your gentility, kindness, need not be universal, nor extend much further than the physical confines of your own body, if at all.

Kade Walker is a writer and artist based in South-East London, UK. She is studying an MA in Black British Writing at Goldsmith’s. Straddling multiple nationalities and heritages, she belongs nowhere, but she’s trying to make a home there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kellyn Eaddy
Kellyn Eaddy
Senior Blog Editor; Social Media Specialist

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