Last Sovereign Queens of Color

Uati
15 min readFeb 23, 2016

Tonight I (mistakenly) glanced at the news on TV. The jaw-dropping headlines:

Syrian Kurds NOT invited at Peace Talks.

EU Scolds Greece for Irresponsibility in Migrant Crisis.

So remember when all that Yale controversy was going down last Fall, you know, with the black students?

I was all like YES! THIS!!!! and got shocked that even one of my usual (black, yalie)-allies dared to try to tell the smart young rebels of color at yale to “sit down and shut up” in so many words… then I was like 👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿 to another yalie I didn’t even know that well in school who told a moving personal story about racism, racial profiling, and shaming at one of yale’s libraries. that resonated strongly w/ my experience at yale. I fucking hated that place that much is clear already. but why?

at that time I just was like so certain and so fired up, emotional, proud, relieved… that it wasn’t that I couldn’t find the words to express myself as much as it was that I was feeling the movement so intensely I couldn’t slow down to recollect and hear my own actual and painful stories, one by one, from my time at Yale. I tried to kill myself there. I dropped that burden finally last year in an xojane article, so that’s public already.

But how about THIS (Idk why I got randomly reminded of it tonight and cannot for the life of me tear my mind away… because it illustrates something. something too deep to keep to myself even if it is at the same time deeply personal.) … So here it is: Freshman year. Old campus. Late night in the dorm room of a friend (I think Pierson was that side, maybe Stiles) with another friend, one of my closest then, a WoC, mixed black + “ethnic” white. We are talking and enjoying each others’ company. Unfortunately due to the nature of what happened next I have since completely and totally forgotten what we were talking about or why, but I mentioned the name of a famous black American (in elementary speak) from history. I don’t remember if she was male or female a civil rights leader, an artist, or what. Paul Robeson, maybe? I can’t say for certain. I mentioned the person almost tangentially or as a reference. And remember this is Yale people! So I did expect someone to recognize the name. Yet my friend/s did not. “Never heard of” them, she– one of my…

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Uati

making stories visual + leading outside yoga + telling art narratives patreon.com/whitneysparks