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Enter the sun with us: a love letter for black students

Earlier, we informed you about the revolutionary potential that we had as the Collective of Black Liberation. After successfully denouncing Tim Wolfe, then president of the University of Missouri, black students came together to continue the legacy of SNCC, the Black Student Leadership Network and other influential university organizations that are crucial to the civil rights movement . We became a very necessary support system when our schools did not take our concerns seriously. Then, with summer, we went our separate ways.

As autumn approaches, we can already feel the overwhelming pain of being on a campus insensitive to our multifaceted experiences. We thought that summer offered time to rest, refuel and recover. We achieve aspects of those objectives; correcting our aching bodies by performing intensive personal care, healing collectively and immersing ourselves in beautiful communities with loved ones. However, the absolute contempt for black humanity was demonstrated through the deaths of Korryn Gaines, Alton Sterling, Philando Castille, Skye Mockabee and many others left us feeling spiritually numb. We handle numbness differently, but the guilt of being alive along with gratuitous violence against black bodies left us asking daunting questions.

Where do we go from here? How do we collectively and individually sustain revolutionary hope, love and joy when the world is burning? And to further complicate things, how can we practice responsibility within ourselves and each other so that when academic pressure juggles roles, loneliness, financial dilemmas, anxiety, deadlines, endless projects , mental illnesses and lack of sleep come back?

How do we collectively sustain revolutionary hope, love and joy when the world is burning?

Although the classes have changed, the mission does not. We must balance the academic, the responsibilities and our sanity. Our campuses are microcosms of a larger society, of white supremacy, with little respect for the livelihood of blacks.

And then we ask, because nobody else will: What part of the faculty in your school is black? How much of the student body is black? Are black students taking time off at higher rates? What resources are there to ensure the success of black students? Is the faculty culturally and racially competent? Does the school have cultural competence courses for teachers to take? Are students required to take classes on marginalized people? What resources are available to students in case they experience racism at the hands of their teachers, staff and student body?

We remember when black students posed these problems to administrators, the Students and staff urged us to keep quiet. They fought tooth and nail to deny any validity regarding the manifestations of white supremacy on our campus and will do the same with yours. They will tell you that the problems mentioned are irrelevant or insignificant. They will tell you that what is happening with the black lives outside their school has nothing to do with their own livelihood; that the deaths of people who resemble you have no relation to your own soul.

Protect your temple and take advantage of the time during the school year for you. Give and receive black hugs. Download from Twitter sometimes. Commit to nature Read poems from our ancestors that whisper to us right now. Tell someone you love them. Ask an old man for a hug. Complements someone's natural hair Oil your scalp with coconut oil. Laugh at something completely inappropriate. Colour. Kiss someone on the cheek. Kick it with the kids. Drinking water. Go running. Sing for you Burn sage Take a relaxing shower. To write. Paint your nails. Use that lipstick shade on the first day of school. Or call this community when you forget how to get around.

When someone tries to silence you, scream louder! We must continue speaking the truth to power. When we observe how black students have protested on their campuses, largely to achieve the same goals, we remember our power. Together, we must continue telling the truth when the world wants us to believe that there is no truth to speak. We do it because there are black students sitting next to you and we will follow you. They should not have to endure the same struggle that we, like our predecessors, have endured.

May you find encouragement in the words shared in this thread. Remember, even in your worst days, you are loved, whether active "in movement" or not. Never hesitate to seek therapy or support. Your strength does not have to come only from you. I know that the sun will one day shine and take us all with your light. Be the other moon and relax in solitude. There is an army that has your back. Forever! We will not leave you. We are with you. We are family. I am because we are. We are, therefore we can. Trust.

A student has no choice but to learn and transcend because the only thing we can not transcend is our blackness; but do not be afraid, because it is, in itself, transcendent. However, it is vital that each of us harness the energy of our ancestors so that the wings (re) learn the long tradition of resilience, expression, dance, jubilee, healing and (re) invention. There will be days when you forget your wings, but remember: together we are close to our liberation.

We will not lie to you and we will tell you that you will not fight. The struggle is global … and so is the movement for the black lives. Know that it is part of a global village that transcends language, borders and politics, a village in which we jointly create a more balanced vision of freedom in which freedom transforms into freedom. Together we are building a new world full of alternative ecologies. We grow our own food, we resist gentrification, we organize ourselves in favelas and we not only dream but we seek transitory zones of freedom all over the world. Our very existence is revolutionary, a testimony to the fact that our capacity for recovery, our joy, our light is undeniable. You are undeniable and the personification of black gold on your campus.

Ayaan Natala, Storm Ervin, Millecia Lacy, AD Carson, Dua Saleh, Faduma Ali, Asanni York, Kaara Vasquez, Marie Johnson, Bethel Gessesse, Charie Payne, Senah Yeboah Sampong, Malikia Kayinyemi, Munai, Johnathan Pulphus, Niara Williams, and the Black Liberation Collective

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