A girlfriend of mine–whenever crazy situations strike–will preface any statement with “On this level of Jumanji.” At this point, indeed, on this level of Jumanji, the fight for freedom is indeed a fight. It is a fight to own all of yourself in a nation that prizes the allocation and possession of all things Black.
It is hard not to feel like a commodity. It is hard not to feel that all parts of you are under attack and there is none coming to save you! The only thing that can, does, and might save you is the idea that if you make enough noise someone may notice you. When I think of all the things reproductive justice offers, I cannot help but think of the Fannie Lou Hamer quote!
As a woman, as a Black woman, freedom for me is complicated and intricate. It involves adequate housing, a living wage, with clean water to send my kids to school where it is safe–and funded! Freedom is me telling my doctor something is wrong, and I will be believed! That my life if not a statistic because I have access to a job with insurance that would allow me to take time off to heal or do treatments!
Freedom? For Black women–access and opportunity. Those two things limit the fear I have when I make appointments for my children, the schools I register them in, and safety for the person I spend my life with.
Safety is access and opportunity.
Freedom is access and opportunity.
Equality is access and opportunity.
Reproductive justice requires, invokes safety, freedom and equality. There is a power in putting a name to something you need, what you want, so you know how to go after it. Besides, on this level of Jumanji, a chick can stand all the help she can get.