Thursday, February 7, 2008

community and identity

i've been thinking a lot about community lately. living in a city foriegn to me, treading on streets of one of the oldest cities in the u.s. which have some of the oldest "commmunities" of urban america. i have lived here for a year now. and sitting in class last night, we were talking about community. my friend, said "[community to me has rarely been a geographic drawn commmunity, i grew up in Harlem, but now live in Washington Heights, ive been there for 10 years now, but when i think of the the community, i think of communities i dedicate myself to and belong to, like social justice and labor, not necessarily drawn by physical boundaries.]"

her words reflect more than just the reality of a global economy and society, where captial and people (sometimes one in the same) can be moved over night. telecommunications have us talking and seeing eachother over a computer, and when we want to "stick it to the man" its often hard to find out who that man really is.

but to me, more importantly, her words highlight the importance of empowering people across demographics, beyond boundaries of race, class, gender, and sexual orientaiton. especially if looking at the potential democratic presidential candidates. one, a african american man, the other white woman. we have all heard "what it would be if we had a woman president? or a black president?"

although our identity and how we interpret it - our privilege, social honor & esteem, or lack of - is the basis for our views and political orientations, its important to realize that when it boils down to it, its about how we think. creating degress of opprssion has never made sense to me, i cant imagine weighing one person simply based on a single demographic. good politics are good politics, consciousness is consciousness, and if you truly believe in liberating education and empowering communities, thats what important. at least it is to me.

1 comment:

Jay said...

this is SO real. i was talking to one of my best friends today about how concepts of "community" and "home" become so fluid. i guess it's funny, and scary and relieving, that it changes so much, but i guess since we're constantly evolving, it makes sense that our communities reflect our own self consciousness...