The words we use dictate our perception of the world, and our behaviour. In order to change what we do, how we see, and how we treat ourselves and each other, we need to change our language.
It’s worth considering the ways in which white supremacy is baked into the English language, and how we have been taught to understand that “good, intelligent writing” means “writing proper English sentences.”
At first, it may feel impossible to escape the lockbox of language. If we speak and think and write in English — especially if we are monolingual — how could we possibly change the very nature of our communication? Where would the new material come from?
But we are creative writers. We aren’t writing reports; we can actually make something out of nothing. We cast spells with metaphor. We dislodge assumptions with poetry. We imbue images with emotion.
We are always writing what would otherwise be unthinkable, unspeakable, unwritable.
This is our form of magic.
What vision do you have of the world you want to live in?
How can you translate that vision into words?
How can you use language differently to catalyze change?
What do you really want to read?
How can you write that?
Photo credit (top): Noémi Macavei-Katócz on Unsplash