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We welcome Black History Month on our born day, and we set our intentions for this month.

After what seemed to be an interminable first month of the year, January is finally over and we welcome February after a full moon filled with purpose, set intentions and energy. Wear Your Voice turns four today(!) and our birthday is not only a celebration for us, but for our dearest readers too. While times are difficult and fraught, we have consistently been in awe of what our fellow creatives, activists and witches have been building and nurturing. There is no better time than the present to actualize projects which intend to help our Black and brown communities. Over here at WYV, we have been creating resources, developing ideas and opening up discussions which prioritize OUR voices — the voices of the marginalized, the voices of queer and trans BIPOC who have been systematically tokenized or ignored in favor of white cishet voices. This is truly a space for us, by us. We welcome Black History Month on our born day, and we set our intentions for this month. As managing editor, I am thrilled to say that this “Letter from the Editor” will be the first of many monthlies to come and it is only natural and fortuitous that the first edition of these letters should be today. This Black History Month we celebrate the Black queer women, femmes, trans and non binary people who are often left out of the discussions of Black History Month in favor of cishet male voices and historical figures. WYV is also celebrating Black women through our marketplace, with our Black activists and creatives shirts featuring some of history’s most groundbreaking women: Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Angela Davis, Octavia Butler, Lucy Parsons, Assata Shakur and many more. The intentions I am setting for Black History Month include making Wear Your Voice an even safer space for our readers as well as our writers. WYV would be nothing without the hundreds of voices we have been lucky to make space for on our site, and part of the integrity of our magazine means making sure our writers’ voices are not only nurtured, but safe. This being said, our editorial team has decided that we will no longer have a comment section on our site. Readers are welcome to engage with us on our social media platforms insteadAs an intersectional feminist publication, we are targeted by misogynists, racists, queerphobic people who simply show up to derail conversations and threaten our writers with bile. Nothing good can come from making space for that kind of energy and there is no such thing as a good debate with people who don’t consider us as equals or even deserving of humanity.
Related: REMEMBERING SOJOURNER TRUTH, THE MOTHER OF INTERSECTIONAL FEMINISM

The Haitian Revolution was and is significant. How can we apply it to today's resistance?

As we approach the one year anniversary of the inauguration of arguably the most punitive and draconian administrations in the history of American presidential politics, it is crucial that black people in the United States and across the diaspora keep our eye firmly on the light that will guide us out of this dark period.

Wear Your Voice (WYV), in partnership with artist and DJ Sabine Blaizin, a.k.a. Oyasound, are committed to doing just that, healing our community of readers on the light by drawing from the ancestral wisdom of the past that can be gleaned from The Haitian Revolution.

In fact, within the broad history of black freedom struggles around the world, the significance of the legacy of the Haitian Revolution — a 13-year struggle against French colonizers that resulted in the birth of the first and only black republic in the Americas — cannot be overstated. And the fact that it was lead and won by enslaved black people is all the more inspiring, for it became the model for enslaved black populations everywhere eager to agitate for their liberation.

“The Haitian Revolution was the catalyst for all revolutions in the [black] diaspora,” Oyasound reflects, before noting, disappointingly, that this mass black revolt, the only one to know success (however short-lived), is little celebrated outside of Haiti.

WYV and Oyasound are determined to help change that, joining forces to host “Lakay Se LaKay: The Revolution: Transformative Healing Through Haitian Tradition,” which will be held at the Starr Bar in Brooklyn, New York, on January 20th, 2018. As the name suggests, LaKay Se LaKay is both a celebration of the fact of the revolution itself and the spiritual traditions central to Haitian culture, as well as an opportunity to dig into our past for insights that may aid and guide us in our current resistance movements.

Related: WORDS MEAN THINGS: UNDERSTANDING COLONIALISM

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