Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Building Love - Honoring Cashawn and Shevon.

Building Love.

Most of you know that AYA's answer to oppression is to nurture the Warrior, Healer, & Builder in us all. Of the three, too often the builders in us and in our community get slighted. Revolutionary Building is often quiet work. So, I want you to help us make some noise and lift up AYA's Black Love Day 2016 Building Love Honorees - Mama Shevon and Baba Cashawn Myers.

When working on the foundation, it's often below ground and can't be seen by passers-by. Movies are made about the defining battle or the healer who snatches life from the jaws of death. The builder drops a small seed in the ground, or in the mind of a student. Not so dramatic, right? When the organizer puts up one more sign or passes out one more flyer, it's so hum-drum. Where's the drama, the conflict, the action? When we think of the Panthers, we seldom think of them feeding our children.

Our honorees have been instrumental in building HABESHA in Atlanta, Baltimore, and in Ghana. Since 2004, HABESHA has taken over 100 youth and adults to Ghana as a part of their  Black To Our Roots program. They built their relationship to build for our people. On Feb. 13th, that's what we honor and dance to.

Shevon & Cashawn Meyers @ BLD 2014
If when working to build her business the builder uses bill money to make payroll, the employees often don't know. What happened is what was supposed to happen - they got paid.  That family builder who organizes the family reunions, creating the perfect teams to maximize success and avoid conflict is often in the background. The builders - teachers, gardeners, architects, entrepreneurs, family builders are largely taken for granted. Hollywood has distorted our vision.

It takes a special love, their Building Love, to see through muddy water, and to see how to build The Kweko Andou Sustainability Institute in Ghana, W.Africa.

Where's the villain? The damsel in distress? The s/hero? Eyes trained by Madison Ave. will miss them. The builder's drama is too complicated, too real. The same sun is at once the savior, the villain and the savior again. That seed dropped into the earth sacrifices itself for greater life. It has all the excitement of the Creation story - wrought with all the possibilities for failure and success as the life of man and woman. Cashawn and Shevon have sacrificed themselves  -- their love which is greater than either individually. Our community consumes the fruit of their love.

Aching knees, neglected family, sacrifice and risk are all there in the builders story; so too is the long vision and the long faith that seeds well planted will produce. It is the same long faith required of true warriors and healers.

Placing that cornerstone - garnered only from meager materials the builder could afford - is like placing the capstone on the Pyramid at Giza. They can see the future from a single stone.

For the teacher who sacrificed so that one more group of students could kiss the soil of our mother land, their kisses are like ancestors - returned. When our people pool their monies to buy one more home or piece of land - free and clear, the organizer might as well be standing under that cascading water falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  Come experience the cascading joy of Building Love.

I'm not hating on warriors and healers. We need them all;  in fact, we need to be them all - in turn. I am saying we need to shed the oppressor's eyes to see through the builder's eyes to hear what a builder hears, and feel what a builder feels. We need to give the builders some.

If our families are tattered or estranged, for whom will we fight? If we cannot feed, clothe and educate ourselves, how will we replenish the ranks. If we have no land, where will we take refuge? Revolutionary builders are key to winning a sustained protracted struggle.

Come to the 4th Annual Black Love Day Dinner Celebration and honor the Myers' Building Love. Watch out, some may spill off on you.