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A Luta

Trust your struggle on a wall


A luta continua. This phrase inspired a song by Miriam Makeba’s daughter and an album by Big Youth. It also became the title of a film that documented the Mozambican fight for independence and the rallying cry in multiple movements. A luta continua translates from Portuguese to English as "The struggle continues.”

On Tuesday, I listened as two colleagues discussed an upcoming election in Zimbabwe. They talked about the consistent political challenges and the desire for change. Their conversation ended when one said, “A luta continua.”

I whispered, “The struggle continues,” as he returned to his office.

With the coworker who remained in the hall, we talked about legacy. He opened up about feeling older and not feeling accomplished enough. I listened as he compared himself to other activists and authors.

To encourage him, I reminded him of his successes. He nodded but remained unpersuaded. Then, a student arrived for an advising appointment, and we went our separate ways.

A Luta Continua.

Every day we struggle to understand our importance. We rob ourselves of the present moment and become over-occupied with what's next and what happened before. Our gaze is pointed outward and not inward toward our critical essence.

Maybe this is just me and one of my coworkers. I included you in the previous statements because you took the time to read this blog post.

This week, I was obsessed with some work-related assignments and opportunities. Video projects and an opening in another office consumed my thoughts during and after multiple days on campus. After several productive writing and exercise sessions, I began to climb out of the web, that had me feeling stuck.

Have you ever put your mind through circles? You know, run the same ideas and scenarios over and over again in your head. I often do that.

The news of Cornel West's presidential announcement, George Santos' release from jail, and the killing of AJ Owens offered a necessary distraction from overthinking. But, the more I learned about these events, the more frustration, anger, and confusion blossomed.

The struggle continues.

I respect Cornel West's academic career, but his bid for the presidency does not hold weight. He's an articulate public intellectual who belongs in the classroom with his students or in an office writing books. The idea that he will lead a successful campaign funded by “truth, justice, and love” is a joke.

Money and relationships dictate politics in America. The fraud charges against George Santos are another example of how finances and power corrupt democracy.

A Luta Continua.

Why did AJ Owens’ neighbor decide to kill instead of talk about the children playing in her yard? Until justice prevails in this troubling case, the struggle continues until the next incident.

Whether we discuss politics in Zimbabwe, our feelings of inadequacy, or current events, the struggle is a part of life. With this awareness, we can accept, cope, or fight. I am not telling you what to do.

The choice is yours.

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