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Last week at a meeting of the NYC organizing committee for the @poorpeoplescampaign (see my post with baby Skyler & Dr. Baber a few weeks ago for more on this movement) we sat around the table thinking about how we bring people together around the societal ills of the war economy, systemic racism, ecological devastation, poverty, and our distorted morality.

“What’s your hustle look like?” Chantilly broke through the meeting and asked. That’s how I start every gathering in the South Bronx.

  • I get up at 5 AM to get my kids to two daycares before clocking in by 7.
  • I bus tables all day then rush to visit my son in prison before getting food on the table for my family and getting up to do it all again.
  • I’m studying for my GRE.
  • I sit in a cubicle from dawn until dusk to exceed expectations in order to get my promotion.
  • I nurse my baby while taking care of my neighbor’s children so she can go to school.
  • I’m trying to become a partner at my firm.
  • I go read with my grandmother at the senior center after school before basketball practice.
  • I work 3 jobs so I can afford healthcare.
  • I scramble to beat the rush hour crush on the A train to get to wall street so be around people i don’t trust all day.
  • I create in my studio hoping someone will buy my work.

What’s your hustle look like?

Maybe if we start there we’ll see in real ways how my struggle, my daily work, my stress, my livelihood is connected to yours. Then maybe we will begin to understand that my very liberation is also connected to yours. As is yours to mine.

What’s your hustle look like? Imagine finding solidarity in the hustle.

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