“Quaweay’s boyfriend and the father of her two children, beat her to death with his fists and baton after stripping her naked and handcuffing her to a bench. Marquis Robinson, 41, Wright’s best friend, restrained Quaweay and moved her body so that Wright could beat her… while Quaweay’s two daughters with Wright, aged two years and ten months, watched nearby.”
This is what they did to slaves. To slaves. It feels excessive and banal and trite to say so. It feels like hyperbole. It is not. It is fact. This is what they did to female slaves. Because they would not submit.
I closed my laptop and thought I left the world of slaves behind. You left the archive and thought you left the world of slaves behind. There are no words for this, where we live. There is no time travel to explain this.
We live but we do not survive. We need new words for what we do, for how we stay, for the work of making black love and black joy and black pleasure in a world of this. Hoodrat, ratchet, rutting, dutty, raunchy, raucous words that sound like sweat and spit and groans and sighs and transform these bodies from things to be tied and whipped naked (in front of our daughters) to things beloved.
Been sitting here for the last hour, trying to write my way into that sound and those words. But all I hear is, “This is what they did to slaves.”
I am a wreck.
#SayHerName Joyce Quaweay