Friday, April 25, 2008


One of my colleagues, a friend of mine, walked by while I was reading Niobe's latest post on He was stopped in his tracks by the title. Not sure what to make of it. Of course, I could see he was kind of horrified by it. He paused and I could see him trying to make sense of it.

This is why I like him. He stopped to react, didn't just go on his way and judge me. I paused, too, sort of embarrassed "does he think I'm actually reading"

I just said, It's a way to reclaim the words. He smiled a little sheepish, but said, Yeah. Okay, I see it. And he quietly took it in.

As a Black man in this world, he knows a lot about the power of words and the power of reclaiming words. But I still wonder, what does he think? Will he forget this? I don't think so, he doesn't seem the type. I think he'll try to work this through, if briefly. Those words: are jarring.

That's one of the things I love about Niobe's writing, is that aside from her beautiful use of the the language, she doesn't mince words. The honesty in her writing can be jarring sometimes.

So, yes, I think he'll think about it a little bit. But what will he think? Will he judge me? Will he think it's weird? That I'm damaged now? A freak? Different?

Well, I guess I am. Certainly that phrase is not as virulent and hateful as some others that have been reclaimed (the n-word, queer), but I think it does give voice to an under-represented group: We who have dead babies. We are not ashamed. We are grieving.


luna said...

my hub had the same jarring reaction when he saw the title of niobe's blog. all I could do was laugh, even though it wasn't really funny.

Amy said...

Ashamed? No! Grieving? Most definetly! I think you got it right and yes, Niobe does have a way with words. She never minces any of them. You two are the same, you are both very eloquent with your posts.

Tash said...

I was pissed that both Deadbabyjokes and Deadbabyblog were taken leaving me to come up with something else. Hmph.

c. said...

In my mind, dead baby is just a term. Most people think it's perverse, that I'm slighting my son somehow when I say it. I don't get it. When did death become perverse?

Antigone said...

I forget the effect those words have on the rest of the world. I've used it in conversation with 'civilians' and they visibly wince.