The Stars and the Blackness Between Them Quotes

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The Stars and the Blackness Between Them The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus
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The Stars and the Blackness Between Them Quotes Showing 1-18 of 18
“Take your feelings and hold them with softness, but also with power. And whenever you feel afraid, know you can ask your fear about itself.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“Incarceration is a sustained, lifetime lynching, meant to discard your soul and make a shell of you in plain life. Make you into your monster self, the beast that comes out when you are forced to survive in the absence of love and safety. Never mind that most of us come broken and traumatized, we still are no longer worth our own humanity. We are a criminal. We need punishment and to be rehabilitated. We need shame and exclusion. We are not worthy of control of our own lives; we are hopeless and evil. We are not individuals or of a womb or a family. We are not absent from anywhere else; because we are here, we simply non-exist. The world is better without us. In this society we are taught our crimes are the summations of our lives and define the limits of our possibility. Our only potential is to harm and destroy.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“On death row, in some ways, I feel like I did become the astronaut of my childhood aspirations. I live suspended, distant and hyperaware of all existence. I’m alien, yet affiliated, living like a satellite, away from all that I have ever known. I know more about human life now that I have moved my research on planetary existence from the streets of Harlem and Philadelphia to my Spartan spaceship of four cement walls, steel commode, and a cot. The space travelers of my felonious legion are drafted from our streets, vulnerable and afraid, some innocent, some guilty, all trained and broken in this system. We are sensitive scientists of the soul who stumble into a laboratory of the self we can’t figure out how to escape. We spend our days rereading our star maps, trying to understand how we ended up at this unintended destination. The solitude of these walls allows us the time to explore the vastness inside of us in ways that our survival on planet Earth never could. I don’t glorify this irony.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“I look at my skin and it is glowing with constellations of ancestors. I ask them about escape and freedom and listen for revelation.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“Within us is a universe that no one can touch.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“Mabel. Loving on you is prayer, like the prayers of bees is honey. We loved on each other like we always been. My fingers caressed your naps in this life. It placed oils. And we was infinite and knew how to love. On the scalp. Along the cornrow and on each other. These coilings was anoited like a real love. We was a cosmic conversation, before I even met you in this life.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“The Blackness between the stars is the melanin in your skin,”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“All of us got poetry in us, 'cause our lives are in constant motion and unfolding, and when we observe it and behold it, it becomes poetry. A place to reflect, a prayer, a possibility for your existence to be connected to all that exists.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“I dedicate this book to the constellation of queer ancestors who have loved and healed through space and eternity, regardless.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“You must protect yourself... I ain't just talking pregnancy. Protect your heart and spirit. You is open and that is powerful but also vulnerable. I had to say something 'cause anything can happen in the world of love.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“Audre, you are a wild nurturing. You are a complicated specialness. You are ancestral perseverance and sacred erotic,” she says, like she praying, holding me close to her. I cry louder. “Gyal, you been in constant communication with Spirit your whole life and you been taught that Spirit speak loudest when we deep in the water, drowning in trouble and fear.” Queenie suddenly closes her eyes and is quiet and breathing, which I know means she is receiving messages. “And that is when you must let yourself get quiet and still. You must let yourself float above it until you are safe and levitating on the water and beneath the sky and just listen, Audre.” She opens her eyes and looks at me. “And, dahlin’, let me tell you something for truth: America have dey spirits too, believe me,” she say, and she puts out her spliff, rubs my back, and starts humming a song into my spine. It a quiet and low song, and I feel my heart inhale the love of it.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“I hearing Queenie’s words: “Let the pain leave out of you with each breath. It want to be free too,” she would say whenever I would get hurt, or if I was feeling sick. Even if I was sad, she would say these words, and through my tears and pain, I would find my center again.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“But I was a boy once.
And to be honest, I can’t help but hold and carry him inside of me. Most of us in here is holding and carrying a sacred and lonely little child in us. How could we not? I write this story for the little Afua in me that needs to know he is okay and worthy of life, even if my whole existence is a reminder that my breath will one day be taken away at a predetermined time by an executioner, whose house I live in. I protect that young boy’s soul by reminding him he is infinite, like the stars and the blackness between them.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“Audre, I think what many parents struggle with, mine included, is that they may not know how to love us in the way that we need. I think that being a parent can bring up a lot of your own fears and traumas and a lot of parents don't know how to not pass that own to their own kids.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“What is it like to be an astronaut of incarceration? It’s stomped wings and a choked heart. The sound of my mom’s screams in that Pennsylvania courtroom made me deaf, like I was actually being pushed beyond and into the stratosphere. She swallowed all of sound into her pain. I saw my dad poured out of himself, shriveled, his breath hijacked, trying to be a pillar to my mom, as he crumpled.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“I would be crunched up into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“All of us got poetry in us, ’cause our lives are in constant motion and unfolding, and when we observe it and behold it, it becomes poetry. A place to reflect, a prayer, a possibility for your existence to be connected to all that exists.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
“One thing I learned in the book my mom got me is that, by the time you see a star’s light shining bright, it could be dead already. Its brightness is a remnant of ancient creation.”
Junauda Petrus, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them