The treatment of Black characters on "Charmed" is still lacking in nuance, but I believe it still has the potential to be headed in the right direction. This essay contains spoilers for "Charmed" By Cosima Smith I grew up watching "Charmed"—the original, slightly
As Women's History Month rolls by, focus on our past, present and future. We have a lot to get done, but we are ready.We're creeping closer towards the end of winter and with it we say goodbye to Black History Month and a multitude of culturally enriching achievements — Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther", Janelle Monáe's release of two visual singles from her new album, "Dirty Computer", as well as the unveiling of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, just to name a few — and we welcome Women's History Month to celebrate not only women's past achievements and our ancestors, but our futures as well. Needless to say, the past year has been tumultuous and we continue to grapple with the death rattle of oppressive forces. Patriarchy, white supremacy and other insidious forms of hatred are lashing out at us as we continue to push back and harness our energies to love and support each other as marginalized peoples. February was a time of self-reflection, internalization and laying the groundwork for manifesting our hopes and dreams — the past 28 days have been confusing, devastating and maddening but our resilience, anger and softness binds us together. This month we focus on our power, our power as women, non-binary and trans folks who are creating safer, stronger pathways for ourselves and our futures. Many of us here at Wear Your Voice are practicing witches, we use the energy of our ancestors and the earth itself to protect and nourish ourselves. Our self-care and ability to find ourselves in the midst of chaos has been essential since the beginning of humanity and it will continue to be that way.
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Gaining the courage to write fantasy fiction has made me realize how important the genre means to me as a Black queer writer.Designated in October 2013 by Black SFF writers Balogun Ojetade and Milton J. Davis, Black Speculative Fiction Month is dedicated to celebrating Black speculative fiction creators in literature, film, and more. While reading Black speculative fiction has always been a thrilling experience, I've recently learned that creating it can help me imagine my most magical self. In late September, I finished "Moon Bloom" my very first fantasy short story with Black queer characters. The story was inspired by many things, but the most important factor was the desire to give myself the representation I've wanted to see for years. Since grade school, I've adored fantasy fiction and how the stories paint the imagination with magic, adventure, and wonder. I grew up with the Harry Potter series, which served as an entry point for other fantasy books like Tamora Pierce"s Tortall series and Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy. However, I didn't read any books by or featuring Black people until 2010.
"I want our presence, our voices, and our herbal gifts to be a reassurance for protestors that the Ancestors are watching, our Spirit Guides are with us, and we can win our collective liberation."
Queer Magic for the Resistance (QM4R) is a collective and political affinity group based in Oakland, California. Since its inception in early 2017, QM4R has trained and mobilized street medics, energy healers, and artists to show up for local demonstrations against fascism and police violence. Among its many goals is the reclaiming of magic and healing (both physical and spiritual) as central tools in the fight against systemic oppression. I spoke with Vanessa, a white genderqueer person and founder of QM4R, and Iman, a Black queer femme who has worked closely with QM4R since its inception, about how they envision the role of magic and healing in militant resistance movements.
WYV: What inspired you to create Queer Magic for the Resistance? Under what conditions did it come about, and what role did you envision it playing within other types of resistance work?
Vanessa: Queer Magic for the Resistance began as an offshoot of another project I had been engaged in, called the Queer EcoJustice Project, which connects with queer folks in rural areas, including those creating community in queer autonomous land projects, as well as those living on the front lines of environmental harm; queer folks who have been displaced from land-based livelihoods due to homophobia and other intersecting violences, including homeless and incarcerated queer youth; and queer folks who work within environmental, climate, or food justice organizations, and those whose work builds a queer ecological future.
Queer Magic for the Resistance began in early 2017 out of a pressing need we saw for a contingent of queer medics, artists, and healers who could, for example, provide supplies for and treat stab wounds during street demonstrations; hold space for emotional first aid during confrontations with police; and weave and paint and sing and dance a powerful healing resistance.