Keening is a tradition all native cultures share. The word is from Ireland and is a tradition where the women wail for the dead.
In traditional American African culture has a tradition of using the voice to heal trauma. The slaves sang and danced because these were the only times that they could be…free.
That freedom has been culturally appropriated by the west and bastardized in so many ways I can’t even get into it in a blog post.
Black people need, now more than ever, to keen. Vocal and physical healing not for the pleasure of others…but to express, process and heal our deep sorrow.
Instead of eating sorrow and suffering, find space to vocalize. Not just to express joy…but to grieve sorrow. The more we are able to physicalize and vocalize suffering…the more we are able to transform that suffering into a fuel to guide us into positive action.
Steps to Keening:
- create a safe space.
- breathe deep
- root your breath deep into the belly
- let the sound travel from your belly through your body and out through your mouth
- allow whatever emotion to come through without judgment of the sound of your voice
- breathe deep
- drink water
- then journal on the experience
- read your journal
- burn the pages and let it go.
It’s time to feel, heal and let go. Our lives are depending on it.
This vocal release is NOT about how well you can sing. It’s authentic expression of emotion through the voice in order to release and start the pathway to healing deep trauma based on racial injustice.
The Wondaland Artists society have this amazing song Hell You Talmbout…it’s a Keening. I share it with you.