super=(archaic) an extra, unwanted, or unimportant person
caliph=califa, successor to leadership
Calafia=Fictional Queen of the Californians
California according to Wikipedia, was the name given to a mythical island, ruled by Queen Calafia and populated only by Black Amazon warriors who used gold tools and weapons in the popular early 16th-century romance novel Las Sergas de Esplandián (The Adventures of Esplandián) by Spanish author Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. (Wikipedia)
In the novel, Queen Calafia, is a royal leader, as befitting the Muslim and African roots of her name. She is a beautiful African woman, leading more beautiful and strong African women with the skill to produce golden tools, and the dexterity to use them. One wonders where the ability to forge golden tools, then skillfully use those tools to handily defend their island occurs—these women are compared to the all-female Amazon tribe of Brazil. The island is conveniently located near an Earthly Paradise which means the women of California must be strategic, strong and regularly willing to defend their island.
How does someone without agency (sometimes you just can't see what's right in front of you) find a way to lead? So this is about me, my spoonful of agave (Azucar!) swallowed to face the world and everything thrown at me. Do I discover my royal ability to lead? Yes, but not from a history of activism in my family, but in the time it takes to get a haircut.
Kaleef cuts hair in Lincoln Nebraska. He is a very good barber, having been taught the craft by his father, then adding his own art to the craft. Kaleef is a beautiful shade of brown, with soft happy eyes and a welcoming smile. When he is not cutting hair, he is making music (Hakim with Fatboy among others) and nuturing a community of cultural product for people of color in Lincoln. He wants to do what Common has done in Chicago--help young people find their voice through art. He smiles when he talks about his plans. I realize how much he believes in what he is doing. I realize this is what leadership means--taking on the conversation of change and engaging those around you to work towards making it happen. It is about swallowing my Azucar! to face the world and engage it in change. I have my community, I have my mission--I just have to create joy in the conversations it will take to make things happen.
Azucar! and AfricanidadCelia Cruz, la negra that makes it as an international singing star, despite a rejection from her beloved Cuba-talk about activist in exile. What gives her strength? Cultural pride, familial love and maternal acceptance, protection support of her talent even in the face of challenge from her father. Finding her tribal roots that permanently plant her in the Cuba of her mind--finding her will to live a life with a sweetness--con azucar!
I remember going to see an exhibit on Celia Cruz at Museo Alameda in San Antonio and thinking how beautiful her relationship to music and to Africanidad (Africa + Latinidad)