SpiritHouse Inc. is dedicating our 2019 Black August Haiku Practice to our ancestors. As we continue to amplify our collective call for reckoning and reparations we want to elevate the names of those people who chose to survive so that we can be here.

Every story has a prequel. The story, before the story we know, that has been shared across generations. It’s the origin story that reveals the context, realities, players and events that created the full narrative. In folklore, fables, comic books, scifi and fantasy, it is the origin story that helps the reader, the listener, the viewer understand each actor.

We all have an origin story; some we know and some that have yet to be revealed. For most of us, our ancestors reside there. Imbued with their spirits, our ancestors stories serve as a blueprint for our survival.

Here is how to participate:

A typical haiku follows the 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables rhythm. Of course you can break that rhythm and follow whatever vibration suits you, we’d ask that you remember that the purpose of these short poems are to honor our people who have historically and till today, had to find joy and practice sacred ritual in small secret places. We choose this haiku practice in the month of August to learn how to distill what we need to be communicated in its barest essence.

August has 31 days. You can choose one or as many ancestors that you would like to honor during this time.

Choose an ancestor

Write your haiku,

Speak their name and read their haiku out loud

If you feel moved, post your haiku on social media (FB, Instagram, insta stories, Twitter), so that those of us engaged in this collective praise practice can lift up their names with you. Please use the following hashtags #InYourName #BlackAugust2019 #BlackAugust575

Below is an example written my Mama Nia

For: Mildred Darden

petite and brown charge

you suppressed initiate

wistful innocence

#InYourName #BlackAugust575 #BlackAugust2019

Additional practice for the month:

Keep fresh flowers in your home

Burn sweet smelling candles and incense

Prepare family favorite foods

Call, visit and check on your elders

Write letter to family members (particularly family members who may be incarcerated)