Although we rang in the New Year on January 1st, Sula Collective is only now officially breaking in 2016. Our month long hiatus consisted of thoughtful reflections and communal brainstorming in the effort to improve the effectiveness of this space. We were able to collaborate with new artists of color, redesign our website, and collectively plan forthcoming projects. Now we’re back and ready to give this whole thing a go again.
New Year’s Eve is notorious for prompting the creation of inevitably fruitless resolutions. The obsession with personal resets are often centered around trendy diet schemes and meme-inspired situationship purges. This issue of Sula says you can keep your “new year, new me” tagline. We are here to explore what it means to be reborn after surviving another day of bullshit. For our communities, each year signifies more lives lost, specifically innocent black lives at the corrupt forces of police brutality, and unjust mass incarceration. It marks another year of silence in the face of racist incidents knowing that we run the risk of losing our jobs for choosing to confront the hatred we face in our workplaces. Every year people of color are burned to the ground, but with the turn of the New Year, we’re Phoenixes rising from the ashes. Whether it’s a new year, whether we do or don’t stick to our resolutions, we are continuously reborn with each passing day, month, and year. For as long as we have been colonized, murdered, raped, and stolen- we have been reborn. It is not possible for a person of color to live a life in which they do not have to recreate themselves continuously.
To all of the PoC who have become something society told them they couldn’t, that achievement is your rebirth. To you, the person of color who is unlearning all of the internalized racism and self-hatred taught to you by white supremacy when you were a young, impressionable child, that is your rebirth. When we take the time to open our eyes and look at the world from a perspective that is not tainted with racial prejudices, we see ourselves in a whole new light.
The more we continue to learn and communicate with each other, the more aware we all become. Awareness leads to creation of our own spaces and eventual inclusiveness. It is the path to a society in which we are all represented equally in television, literature, and everyday life. In a way, February represents the rebirth of a community. Black History month, celebrated throughout America, is a way for black americans to look back at the accomplishments and stories of their ancestors. In order to move forward, we must keep looking at the past. Issue 5 is here to recognize the rebirth of fellow PoC and to show the progress so many of us have made living in a world that thrives off the oppression of brown and black people. Sula continues to be a safe space for PoC, and like you we are grateful for the opportunity to have been reborn into this new year.
“How can you rise, if you have not burned”
― Hiba Fatima Ahmad
Words by Kassandra (K.) Piñero, Sophia Liu, Nicole White, and Iman M.
Illustration by Sophia.