Author: Julia Walker

 

We are black history and so were the generations before us.

From the great grandmother’s that made sure to keep the words of songs deemed illegal to be spelled out to the candy lady in neighborhoods now who makes a sandwich for the kids without treat money.

We’ll never be the stars of books by colonizers and that’s fine. We can preserve our own history. That’s the only reason anything exists now.

 

From Erzulie Dantor to my own great-grandmother Julie, the figures I call for protection look like me and my altar reflects that.

My setup is obvious yet regularly goes unnoticed. The whole thing on a brown wooden table – white candles dominate with splashes of purple, blue, red, grezruliedantoreen and yellow.

Walls above the table heavy with deep purples and reds – a collage of my  black history role models: my Julie, Maya Angelou, and Korryn Gaines. A painting I made for and of Erzulie Dantor and two more of veves.

Aside from candles and the crushed herbs that dress them – which emit a scent that is handsomely beautiful, starring mint and rose with hints of musk and pepper – the table holds wine and a piece of jewelry that for me represents domestic violence victims who lost their breath.

Formerly overwhelmed by how organized other people’s craft looks in comparison to mine, I now strive for simplicity. Truly using everything on my altar is the goal.

From cups of tea to sprinkles on the top of homemade bread, many items also grown myself or foraged by friends who help me avoid using money by trading goods. Because of this I feel closer not only to the ancestors but to the land itself.

Money is a trapping that still consumes me to an extent but I try to spend primarily out of necessity for my children and on behalf of others through my nonprofit.

Making supplies multi purpose starts with buying used when possible; most candle holders came from secondhand stores, the piece of jewelry a present from my mother strengthening ancestral ties also.

Once done, the wax is collected and will be shipped to one of those workers who I trade love and recipes with to be used all over again before being disposed of. Us as a network is a revolution in itself.

Different flavors of leftists gathering together across time and space now connecting both face to face and through packages carefully tended. Healing each other and ourselves by pooling communal resources in the same physical space being the next reasonable step and a large portion of why my candles continue to be lit now.

Did you find this content a source of insight or inspiration? Consider supporting this effort by becoming a member of Roaring Gold today! Click on “Support” in the main menu for details.