Migration / by Edna Bonhomme

Migration can be unsettling mostly because of the material costs of moving, the everyday miscommunication, and the feeling of exclusion. For many people who have had to flee from war, famine, cholera, and occupation, it is especially heartbreaking. I have come to terms with the fact that home has been and will always be contingent, fleeting, and precarious--especially since contractural, short-term labor has become the norm for my generation. But I have never been able to digest that as Black woman, I am regularly disregarded by others, subjected to street gendered/racial harassment, and stared at & touched by strangers. These interactions are not unique to Berlin but emulate some of the encounters I have had in Brooklyn, Cairo, Managua, Paris, and Port at Prince. Nevertheless, there is beauty in hearing raindrops hit the tin roof, smelling the morning dew during an early morning run, and reading a good book. There is solace in running one's finger through the grass and having the wind blow on one's eyelid. The late Black American playwright, Lorraine Hansberry wrote:


"I wish to live because life has within in it, that which is good, that which is beautiful, and that which is love. Therefore, since I have known all these things, I have found them to be reason enough and--I wish to live."

Like Lorraine, I wish to live but I want to go a step further and thrive and love even when the world is telling me otherwise. Perhaps that is an essential feature of the Black radical tradition--or perhaps it is product of being a spore that wishes to find roots. Convening with nature and literature shows that the world is beautiful even when it is not apparent from looking in the mirror or floating through the world. Yet, working in concert with the living and learning from the ancestors who have wanted to make it more humane will be a key feature to our collective liberation.