The only culture worth keeping is the revolutionary culture. Black culture must not be something that the enemy enjoys, appreciates or says is attractive. It must be repelling to the slave master. It must smash, shatter and crack his skull, crack his eyeballs open and make water and gold dust run out. (George Mason Murray, Black Panther Minister of Education, 1968)
When we talk about becoming free, we have to talk about power, getting all the goods, services and land, and returning them equally to the oppressed and enslaved Mexicans, Blacks, Indians, Puerto Ricans and poor whites in the U.S. and to the rest of the oppressed and hungry people of the world. (Murray, 1968)
The racist dog oppressors have no rights which oppressed black people are bound to respect. The oppressor must be harassed until his doom. He must have no peace by day or night. (Bernadine Dohrn, Students for a Democratic Society Secretary)
A pause is needed in writing. Otherwise it’s just going straight ahead with half things trundled out, the ride getting faster, the wheels getting wonky, leaning to the side and then the other, into an impossible turn which spins so tight that it becomes a centrifuge. And the reader has long since gone.
The writer needs to take a break and breath, step back to make sense of it, find what is working and what is not. Think about other things. And then, bang! Fewer conversations about assault and misery, and more things happening. Best to go with that.
I need to get things right in order to write. I need everything in its place, not just on my desk – chargers coiled, books stacked, books aligned, pens in their pen cup – but in the bathroom, living room and kitchen.
I need to clean my head out of the things to do, and plough through my to-do’s – emails, applications and purchases – checking each off the list.
And then I need the room at the right temperature and light, the right drink in hand, the right food eaten, and then the music, a snap decision. Go ambient or go home.
I need to find my place in the story, remember where I was and where I was going. I just need a glimpse, something sharp and clear, and away I go. Unless I don’t. And it all starts again.