Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

independent study

Nyasa Hendrix's picture

i am gathering reading and videos togethr to be able to bring together my "blog post" on how i came into my black womyness (at 20), I am lookign to hopefully post this on my own personal blog as a come back post, as i have been taking a break from it soo this would be a wonderful way to get back in the game. i will be writing a manifesto of sorts, but not something that is instructional, but rather a tag along if that makes much sense. i will be writing it as a enjoy writing the most and will be brining in some fo my writing from my first paper, buecaus that piece was very important to me and i had already started bringing in other works to work in conversation to what i think it an important aspect of my identiy. which is my blackness and my womanhood and they are constantly informing each other. this work will be a stream of my thoughts and the answers i have found, but alos the questions i have, like in moving forward in ym life, what will my black motherhood look-like? my black wifeness?



thats where i am at.


Anne Dalke's picture

When we first discussed this project, before Thanksgiving, and you described your desire to write “a manifesto of sorts…not something instructional but rather a tag along” (but I don’t know what a tag along is?), I was urging you not just to use this as an occasion to showcase all you’ve already read/ thought/ known, but as a site for exploring what yet isn’t clear to you, to read some new material. Looking over your description of the blog posting now, I’m glad to see a move in that direction (“a stream of my thoughts and the answers i have found, but also the questions i have”…).

Reading this, I was also realizing how much of my own preferences are centered around question-asking, always making the move to “keep things open.” And I was remembering a course, a coupla semesters ago, when that question-asking had gotten pretty unanchored, felt ungrounded, and we turned, as counter-weight and counter-impulse, to some of the digital work of Alex Juhasz, whose Feminist Online Spaces include a “mantrafesto.”

This coinage melds “manifesto” (from the Latin word manifestum, meaning clear or conspicuous = "making manifest") with “mantra” (a chanted/sung incantation/prayer; a repeated word, formula, phrase, often a truism…). The way Alex constructs her “mantrafesto” is via a series of declarative sentences, each one beginning with the word on which the one before ends. For example:

Access begs literacy.
Literacy initiates production.
Mass production fosters popularity.
Popularity produces virality.
Virality forecloses context, shared interests and vocabulary, and local community.
Community is built upon safety.
Safety fosters the sharing of voice and responsibility.
Shared responsibility is necessary for democracy.
Democracy protects vulnerability.
Vulnerability forecloses visibility.
Visibility demands a safe space.
Safe spaces need rules and hierarchies.
Rules and hierarchies require transparency and process.
Process is built upon equal voices.
All voices want a body.
A body needs to be visible.
Visibility allows for warranting.
Warranting insures civility and positionality.
Positionality fosters political community.
Political communities demand spaces, both virtual and real.
Spaces demand access.

I share this as an invitation to you to be experimental in your writing, in a dance that might shift between assertion and question, declamation and inarticulation….Looking forward to hearing how this sounds! A.