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Sara Marie Ortiz's essay is the second one in the anthology. Here she explores questions and answers and the difficult relationship ways we navigate between them.
Part I. Starting
Signifier and signified.
I have never written about race. I figured a great way to start would be to start with a great title, so I wrote Creation and Re-imagining Race: Self-actualization in Contemporary Indigenous Poetics and then I realized that I had never written about race before. Not really. And then, after beginning to dig a bit deeper, I realized that every single thing I'd ever written, said, done, sung, danced, loathed, dismissed, raged quietly at, and forgotten entirely. . .was, in fact, about race.
I started, stopped, started, then stopped again.
Part II. Asking
I knew there were some important questions that I needed to try and answer if I was going to come even close to speaking to my 'topic.'
None of it was topical. It was all a sticky matted fabric of memory and experience. I had lied to myself about race and my "okay-ness" with it all, I realized.
What do you really want to say about race and Indigenous poetics?
Why should anyone care?