Storytime: Bishes in the Forest

Storytime: Bishes in the Forest


– Once upon a time, sometime, last September, I spent two weeks with
the Ford Foundation, learning about indigenous people, land rights, and climate change. Wow, that sounds so
intellectual and important. So this right here, this little black girl, along with another black girl, Hallease, ended up on the Yurok Reservation
in northern California, on a expedition, that I would like to call Bishes in the Forest. We’re out here learning
about climate change, and indigenous people, and the trees. These trees is old. Them, these bitches is old. Bitches in the forest bruh. (funky music) Now, me myself, and I, I am East Coast black girl. North East Coast, as in city dweller, part
time suburban resident, always got antihistamine in my purse, not Zyrtec, prescription sis, because allergies are just that real. I’m allergic to all of the trees. And thanks to being my mothers first born, and therefore the child ne.. over, I was gonna say never, but she always, always, over worried about
while taking me to Coney Island and not allowing me to get on
any of the roller coasters, because you can fall off. So I just sat on the bench
to collect all the bags. I don’t get on roller coasters. I’m not, I just miss mm.. Then, on top of the general anxiety I walk around with being
an adult black woman in America of today, sis, I’m a full blown scaredy-cat, who likes two feet firmly on the ground. Right there. Hold your purse, I’m a benchwarmer. Don’t take me to the
amusement park, I’m no fun. Water rides, maybe. So this experience was um, different. But, you’re probably asking, girl, what does indigenous
people, land rights, and climate change, have
to do with, huh, me. Collectively, both as
members of the black American community, and diaspora from the Americas, to
the Caribbean, to Africa, we have all been touched
by natural disasters that hit our communities, and the poor communities the hardest. – [Announcer] New Orleans is
no longer safe to live in. It is that simple, and that stark. – We’ve then watched our
land, and our cousins land, be washed away, as the government turns a blind eye to us, and capitalizes, on sneakily
taking that land away. You know it’s something
called gentrification. Mmmm mhmm, yeah you know. Now there’s actually a political process that qualifies a community
as indigenous people, that varies between countries. And sis in a later video, we will definitely be answering, where are the indigenous
black people, ’cause, we was lookin’ too. But, while a large swath of
the African diaspora does not politically qualify as indigenous, this fight for indigenous land rights, and countering climate change, directly and heavily impacts us. My time in the forest really put me on to why this matters. We did a forest walk through
the Yurok Reservation, and I wanna thank the most high, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Vishnu, whatever you call him,
her, them, gender neutral, yes them, I wanna thank them, because my behind, simple behind, did not pack
any allergy medication, but somehow, someway, as a person who is literally
allergic to every tree, I got an allergy test on my
back this one time, and whoo, I am legitimately allergic to every tree, grass, and dander, hair, achoo! But I was blessed, and enjoyed the freshness of this sacred, sacred, forest, without
any allergy attack. It was truly, truly a magical experience. So, as Bishes in the Forest, because in real life, this is something I, on my own accord, would neva eva eva even
cross my mind or think to do because of course allergies and like lice and bugs and lions and tigers and
bears and snakes and animals. I’m good, Gucci, don’t do none of those. I would have never thought of the value of indigenous people, and the science that they
bring through their rituals, to sustaining the forest,
and countering wildfires. Smokey the Bear should
have been indigenous. Taking this trip as part of the Guardians of the Forest initiative. I don’t even know if I can
parse together how inspiring it was, because it was just so far out of my will house,
and this was just so many new experiences, and new
ways of looking at the world. And you know, we see in small bits
because of our privilege, how climate change is
negatively impacting us. It’s freezing one day, and then unusually warm the next. Flooding, hurricanes,
wildfires, and tornadoes. Expensive ass groceries. And then the never ending
discussion of immigration, and the wall, the melting
Popsicle wants to build so badly. Yes, those things are all connected, because climate change is hitting poorer countries way, way harder than it’s hitting us. But, it’s not an isolated problem or circumstance by any
stretch of the imagination. Now, with the help of
Hallease’s awesome editing, I’m going to be connecting the dots, for you, and showing you how to get
involved in making change in the ways we’re connected
to the indigenous people. And we are the local communities, who are and who need to be, fighting against climate change. For now, check out the Guardians
of the Forest for more info of the indigenous folks, I had the awesome opportunity, to kick it with. You know, I just, it just was so like, enlightening bruh. And I have a whole new like world preview, like world view. Aesthetic. I just never thought of like places like Costa Rica, or Panama, in terms of indigenous people. I mean I know, I knew, but I wasn’t thinking. Yeah, now I’m thinking, now I’m thought. Stay smart, smart brown girls. And uh wow. My audience is definitely
like 35 percent male now, I see ya’ll, hey bruh. You stay smart too. Deuces.

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