Real Results- When Folks Show Up Edition. – Shannon Barber
HI y’all. I really wanted to update/talk about what happened after my last post talking about how much help I need.
I want to tell y’all what happens when you give immediate support to someone like me.
First thing that happened:
I was able to redo my budget.
Bought 150$ worth of pantry items/food to be delivered tomorrow.
Got partner some new drawers and socks.
Got both of us some new immune system stuff.
Got partner extra medication for pain management/gut problems.
Dropped some cash into my moving savings fund.
Donated a few bucks to a couple of other Black Femmes in need.
I have a bit of a firm plan/budget to supply myself with personal care items to last through Christmas.
I slept without stress/anxiety induced night terrors for the first time in three weeks.
I bought myself some chapstick.
I was able to poop (after being stress induced constipated for days)
I was able to calm down enough to get some writing done.
The most important thing is this.
When I see folks wringing their hands about oh what do I do, this is what you do.
For folks like me, material, concrete and yes financial support means we can make our art, do the shit we need to and survive.
Most of us who ask, hate it. Every day I have a few friends I talk to about it because we hate it. We cry and worry about how we are perceived. We have folks, even folks who love us disrespect us and our work because if we “just worked harder” or whatever, of course we’d be fine right?
We go through a lot. We often see folks post/contribute to shit like, help some white guy make potato salad, folks make thousands in days and we’re literally begging for meal money and then worried that after a while of promoting the stuff we sell that no one buys (as we’re always told to do) and posting our fundraisers and paypals and venmos nobody will pay attention and what will we do?
In my wide circle of Black femmes in particular, many of whom don’t know each other. Almost every day I see the effect of the way Black femmes don’t get funding grind down the resolve of even the hardest hustlers I know. I see fb statuses and there are private mesages and we’re all crying and all of us are feeling like maybe we’re not really worth shit.
THis is the raw truth. We can only hear how great and powerful we are so much. We can only provide so much education/things for a community at large that won’t throw us a bone. Don’t give a shit if we starve. Folks might not mean us to feel that way but that’s where so many of us end up.
It is why there’s a group of us I know and we literally pass 5$ around to each other whenever one of us sells something or whatever because nobody else will and that’s fucked up.
And yes we ALL know about the devestation around the world right now.
That said, this is what we always live with. For most of us right now we struggle to even get people to boost our links. I mean, why tell us how amazing we are if you can’t be bothered to share when we are in need?
That’s why I say, support living artists.
That’s why I say, tip often and tip well. You don’t have to have a lot of money. Literally if half of the folks who read our work in general *for most of us* on blogs, medium or whatever each dropped us a dollar- lives changed.
But that’s not what happens and a lot of us, especially those of us who write a lot and pointedly about racism, gender, etc wind up feeling like shit, not being able to have sustainable art lives and whatnot.
I’m pretty sure this is not what I’m supposed to say but y’all know I gotta be real about shit and this is how it is.
Thank you for your support folks. It really does mean the world and for my little family in particular, that we survive.