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Are You the Hammer or Nail?

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

Many people pose this question in job interviews and I think I will always answer hammer. After ten years or so, my mattress finally gave and I’ve been sitting here watching it mock me and take up space in the tiny apartment I call home. After attempts to sit it outside and find ways to get rid of itI decided today that I wanted to dismantle it. I hammered, and hit the wood and it broke apart so easily under the force and pressure.

Fast forward ten minutes later and I’m left with the skeleton of the bed frame. As much as I hammer away it won’t break under my frustration. I sat down in a sweaty mess and looked at this beast, this nemesis, this frame and several things happened.

  1. I saw this frame as my life as I know it. At the corner of post-grad and straight out of college street trying to figure out how to structure my days through deconstructing my thoughts, my movements, my moments.

  2. This asshole chunk of wood is white supremacy and patriarchy. The bulk of the frame was worked on, but the structure still stood.

  3. My social justice hammer was tired and so was I, so I walked away. And it pushed me to dream and scheme and do the organizing work I love to do.


How do we learn to step away from the box (spring) of systems that hurt us? How many swings does it take to win? What will it take for us to be free?

I don’t know, but let’s sure as hell come out swinging.

Let’s Dismantle Southern Harm.

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