In 2017, across the U.S., we have seen a rise in unapologetic white supremacy, hate crimes and the usage of violent theologies to further cause harm against already targeted populations. As we know, faith spirituality is an important part of resiliency. In a world steeped in anti-Blackness, transphobia and transmisogyny, very few faith and spiritual spaces have a deep understanding of the ways unexamined theologies can spread anti-Blackness and transphobia. As Black trans people, we are a community often the target of criminalization, homelessness, murder and joblessness. As #BlackTransMagick, we ask ourselves “how do we protect our spirits and those of our loved ones who face so much trauma?”
#BlackTransMagick, is a cohort of Black trans poets and musicians seeking to answer this very question. Through the creation of the #BlackTransMagick Prayer Book, we are seeking a place to hold and process our spiritual pain as a community, hold faith spaces accountable to the anti-Blackness and transphobia they perpetuate and fuel the resiliency of Black trans people needing spiritual space. To make this happen, we need the help and support of anti-racist and trans affirming faith spaces.
This interfaith project, which will be organized by J Mase III (poet/educator/founder of awQward) and Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi (poet/author/priestess), will bring together Black trans poets/artists/theologians to collectively create a book of prayers, meditations, poems and stories that center the spiritual realities of Black trans people. In order to build community as we craft this offering, we will be hosting a four day writing retreat this winter in Seattle, WA and will include collaborators from all over the USA. As a community often underpaid for the value of our brilliance, work and activism (approximately 35% of Black trans people will make less than $10k this year) we are seeking to gain more financial support to ensure the ability to properly compensate the artists who will be taking part in the writing and editing of this work. We have a lofty goal of raising $30,000. So far, we have raised $8,500.
We know, through our joint expertise in writing and spiritual practices that we will create something powerful and relevant to the current climate of attacks against trans folks of color across the country. We are wanting to create not just a four day retreat, not just a book, but a movement in theological work that centers Black Liberation and Trans Liberation theologies. We want to put this book into the hands of every Black trans person and every faith leader that exists.
We are asking communities of faith to show up for us as we create magick. There are a few ways that congregations and individuals can support us:
- Congregations/Individuals can donate to our work by emailing us directly at admin@awQwardtalent.com or electronically sending a donation at that same email address via PayPal.
- Congregations can book Mase & Dane to share some of the collected works live and their unique spiritual perspectives as experts in various religious traditions (Mase being raised within Christian & Muslim traditions and Dane being an expert in African & Indigenous traditions).
This project will birth a tool that does not yet exist. We know the value in recognizing the divinity of Black trans people and hope that your congregation would be interested in supporting this vital work.
Please email us with any follow up questions at admin@awQwardtalent.com.
The #BlackTransMagick Prayer Book
*#BlackTransMagick is not a UUA project. All proceeds will go directly toward supporting the contributors of #BlackTransMagick.