Culture, and the arts are not something tangential to the struggle, it’s not just an entry way to involve people in activism around a particular cause. It is a way of struggle in itself. It is true laws don’t change attitudes, and they certainly can’t free minds. But music can. Poetry can. Theatre can. Words can. Through creative works, it is possible to reach beyond the shell of bigotry, intolerance, and fear, and inspire people to be more than what they were before. That is the spirit Rebel Hearts Publishing embodies.
The “Freedom is real” and “Equality is in the air we breathe” like Langston Hughes dreamed is still not true in the early 21st century. Or it is still not true in society, but sometimes, when we listen to musicians or poets or when we experience a moving piece of literature, and ourselves give in to the creative impulses within us, we can glimpse that freedom. But the work still remains to be done. We still must bridge the feelings of beauty and power and freedom that we taste in those creative peak experiences, and translate it to real positive material changes in people’s lives.
In this project, we are using words as weapons, bridges, and tools to imagine and move towards the better world that we know is possible. With tools of passion and fire, magic and spirit, some ink and a page, we can begin to glimpse the possibility and the necessity of the castles of superiority and entitlement that the white supremacist, imperialist, capitalist, patriarchy has built on the bones (both dead and living) of us all, crumbling into dust.
To change the world, we have to liberate our imaginations. Assata Shakur reminds us, “We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.”
May we plant seeds that spring up from the cracks in the concrete. May the fortress come down. May we have a revolution of everyday life. And may we leave breadcrumbs for those who come after, to prove that we were here, that we loved fiercely, spoke our truths, and fought with all the life within us to birth something new.