Welcome to this special issue of Deep Times journal focused on the impact of race and culture on the Work That Reconnects.
In Sarah Thompson’s article on the “intersectionalization” of the Work, she clearly names how while we are all in this Great Turning together, we are in it differently. This issue speaks to some of the differences in experience. Throughout this journal you will find many references to the acronym POC. If you identify as a Person of Color living in a racialized society such as the United States, this acronym needs no definition – it has likely shaped your daily experience since birth. If this fits your experience, we hope this issue will be of benefit to you as you navigate the additional complexity of participating in a body of work that has historically been so Eurocentric and where the conditioning of society reappears in intrapersonal, interpersonal and group dynamics.
For the reader from nations outside of Turtle Island (North America), many of the reflections in this journal reflect the pain and turmoil of living in a racialized society rift with interlocking systems of oppression. While racism has some unique history on the North American continent, colorism and systems of oppression are manifest throughout the world with the manifestation of social systems of ranking, European imperialism, patriarchy, misogyny and capitalism.
In occupied United States – the political authority under which we three guest editors live – people of European descent – their economic interests, their experiences, and their feelings – have been centered for centuries. With this journal we three editors have made the conscious decision to shift that dynamic.
Rather than following the traditional spiral of the Work That Reconnects completely, this special issue is anchored in these four sections:
- a first section in support of POC navigating this Work and the beautiful directions they/we are taking it with an interview of Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, and pieces by A.M Davis, Patricia St. Onge, Wilson Riles, Ratasha Huff, and Jaq Nguyen Victor;
- a second section delving into what do we mean by we? with an audio (and written) recording of a conversation between us three editors and a poem by Signature MiMi;
- a third section with invitations particularly to white people to take greater responsibility with pieces by John Powell, Eric Peterson, Aries Jordan, and Zilong Wang;
- and a final section about seeing the Work with ancient eyes and some suggestions for how to go forth with this Work in better relationship with contributions from adélàjà simon, Sarah Thompson, Erica Peng, and A.M. Davis.
For more context about the why of this issue, some readers may wish to start with the interview/conversation between us three guest editors.
There has been a long painful history of extracting labor from people with darker skin color without compensation. With this journal issue, please compensate authors as generously as you are able to. We have invited each contributor to put a Paypal or Venmo link at the bottom of their article so that you can gift them directly. As guest editor Ann Marie Davis elaborates about the gift economy:
I think that there are different interpretations of the gift economy and this is my take on it. The PayPal links are much like a begging bowl that Buddha carried when he offered his priceless teachings for free. I don’t liken myself to Buddha or my words to his, but I think that there is a priceless quality to storytelling in the year 2017.
I have heard the term white privilege used and I believe that white people have economic privilege on the whole, and I also believe that the economy was founded to insure the wealth of white corporations, and today that means billionaire corporations, and then white people in general, with former slaves and indigenous people left out of the benefits that the lands and the owning of bodies bestowed upon the remainder of the culture.
Consider your gift a gift of gratitude and a gift of positive feelings toward the people who have written for this issue. I consider my storytelling a gift to the earth, to change and transform the observations of us beings that came from earth as we heal from the patriarchy and white supremacy that has resulted in the crises of the political and biological environments, and the crises in our hearts and souls.
Thank you for reading and for giving in return for the many beautiful gifts and potent medicine shared by this special issue’s contributors.
If you are interested in using any of the material in this issue, please check with the author first.
May this special issue serve healing in this Work and of the entire world, between which there is no separation.
Guest editors Patricia St. Onge, Ann Marie Davis and Aravinda Ananda, August 2017
Deep Times editor Molly Brown invites folks to submit articles, poems and artwork for consideration for publication in the November issue via email to: [email protected] The deadline for submissions is the end of September.